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Old 21st November 2005, 07:30   #31
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Lets get the facts clear here. The Govt acted late in making the seat belts mandatory/compulsory for 4 wheelers.This could have been done atleast 5 years earlier i feel. There wasnt much of a problem implementing it as the costs involved were/are not big.
Though i find that the ppl are still callous about the effectiveness of the seat bellts . So much for safety awareness and commonsense in our country.

In India, the so called safety features are cost driven and are viewed as luxury features than safety features ( with influencing factors!) and that is where the problem lies. That is why they are offered in the top end variants of some( mind you!) of the mid segment cars and the premium cars with the exception of a couple of hatchbacks in the entry level.

In a practical situation these features would cost atleast b/w 25 -35K ( ABS+ airbags for example) per vehicle when produced in bulk and in a cost sensitive market like ours, it is natural for the manufacturers to omit these. Afterall, the cars that we get here are stripped to barest minimum possible be it Engine Spec, Safety and comfort features, Tyres,Alloys, Service warranty and thats the naked truth

As I had mentioned in my earlier post , the manufaturers can do their bit by not looking at Profits in providing these features and the Govt can do its part by reducing the insurance Premium and discounts on Life time road tax to lure the customer into going for these features. The govt. can also reduce the import duties on cars equipped with such features so that they are offered as standard.

These features should be made available across most of the variants by the manufacturers which again can cause some production issues. This can be worked out effectively i feel.
We cannot expect everybody to have them but atleast get a considerable number of ppl to go for them.


As far as I see, this is a more plausible solution than expecting the government to act and make things mandatory which is not that practical and not going to happen for another 5 years atleast. We in our capacity can demand for these features from the manufacturers and also bring about the awareness in the general public which may prove effective in the long run.

Maybe the awareness has to be brought in the Ppl who formulate these rules in the govermnent so that they act fast .

Last edited by muni : 21st November 2005 at 07:40.
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Old 21st November 2005, 08:47   #32
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See I dont see why make airbags and ABS mandatory in a country where still mothers carry two children on scooter without helmet.
I don't see the connection between a scooter and ABS/Airbags. If ABS and Airbags are made mandatory, people will be forced to buy their cars with them. When they're left with no choice, they will have to oblige.

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We in our capacity can demand for these features from the manufacturers and also bring about the awareness in the general public which may prove effective in the long run.
Trust me on this one, majority of the people would rather save 30K than ask for Airbags and ABS. And that's exactly whats been happening so far.

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Old 21st November 2005, 09:33   #33
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see u cannot compare the indian car market with the intrnational one...where every piece of car is sold with abs and airbags as standard..even the cheapest...moreoever its mandatory. but the cost increses substantially..do u think the alto or the santro can be priced at these rockbottom prices if these safety gizmos were there...
look dude a car is definitely safer than a two wheeler...and that is the key here...to make majority of indians migrate to 4 wheelers..!!!!!
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Old 21st November 2005, 10:58   #34
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do u think the alto or the santro can be priced at these rockbottom prices if these safety gizmos were there...
Then it's time we raised the bar as to what we consider rockbottom. Do you think that people will stop buying cars if the price is increased by a few percent? Do you see deserted fuel pumps everytime the fuel price is hiked? A few years ago, 50 bucks for a ltr of petrol would have been unimaginable but, it's happened now and people are gettin used to it.

And safety features are something people deserve to have on their cars, whether they like it or not.

As far as 2 wheelers go, bikes are dangerous in every country. It all depends on where and how it's driven.

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Old 21st November 2005, 13:52   #35
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At the end of the day each of us has two ideas about safety:

1. Personal safety: Agreed, a person should buy the best he can afford for his personal safety. To that degree, if one can afford ABS+Air Bags-more power to him. If not-then definitely a car without all these safety features is still safer than a 2 wheeler. (Incidentally- I personally believe that driving a two wheeler in India is suicidal)

2. Public Safety: This is where most of the debate has been. Indeed the government can be far more aggressive in legislating and ensuring safety for drivers, passengers and pedestrians-no doubt about it. But I disagree that this has to be by making expensive safety features mandatory. The key word here is expensive-if making an entry level car more expensive by 20 K makes it unaffordable to a certain segment of the population-they are more at risk of fatal accidents driving their 2 wheelers etc. The need of the moment as others have mentioned is not ensure that all the vehicles are legally mandated to have all safety features known to man, but (considering the conditions in India and also our economic circumstances) in the same order:
1. Better driving discipline: A pure law enforcement and license regulation issue. No additional expenses involved for anyone.
2. Better roads: Again, we are already paying a petrol cess for this; ideally there shouldn't be any additional expense. Having said that-I won't mind paying a rupee extra or road toll if this is what it takes to get better roads.

For now in India 'affordable and reasonably safe transport' is better than 'ultra safe but unaffordable or affordable only by few transport'
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Old 21st November 2005, 15:30   #36
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For now in India 'affordable and reasonably safe transport' is better than 'ultra safe but unaffordable or affordable only by few transport'
Thats my point, why would someone go in for ABS and Airbags if he's getting the same model at a lesser price without these features.

Unless all cars in India come equipped with atleast ABS and Airbags, there's no point discussing this topic. As long as there are variants that are cheaper (without the required safety features), they will always be in demand.

Very soon, we're gonna have a 1 lakh car selling twice as many units, as an Alto with god knows what levels of safety. But it's still safer than a bike, so what the heck.

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Old 22nd November 2005, 02:52   #37
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Originally Posted by msprabhakar
In fact, if safety is our Govt's prime concern, focus first on world-class roads and world-class driving skills. I wouldn't mind if our SC intervenes and makes it mandatory for every driver to get a license from California or Singapore! Car manufacturers could even offer free air-tickets and boarding to these countries to obtain a license, and build into their vehicle costs. This, in my opinion, will save many^many lives than ABS/EBD and airbags, which only make an extraordinarily bad driver look ordinary.
I don't think the government/manufacturers have to go to the extent of sending people off to California/Singapore for getting a license. We know how to make rules as good as people in California or Singapore do. What we are lacking in is in enforcing the rules. Straightening up malpractices at RTO offices and strictly enforcing rules will make a lot of difference when it comes to safety. When people can get licenses eventhough they haven't touched a vehicle in their life and don't know what lanes on the road are for, anti-lock brakes or stability control or air bags are not sufficient to save that person.
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Old 22nd November 2005, 03:43   #38
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ABS and airbags are certainly not the only way to make a car safer but atleast they are effective.

I said power and safety go hand in hand. SO if you buy a maruti 800 or alto for your daily city commute I think its an ideal buy.

but if you buy a 100bhp petra I suggest you see that the car has ABS and airbags coz atleast they assure of better safety measures during those wrong times.

yes I agree that 50% of the car buyers are first timers and usually drive on scooters. but then how many of these first timers actually go fast or atleast go on the highway frequently.

And with the swift, palio and getz offering the basic ABS plus other goodies below 5lacs I think its pretty much affordable to a normal car buyer.

afterall The list I gave was just a way to tell the people to see if there is a more safer car than the current one they are buying.


My post is not targetting those people who cannot afford it. My post is targetting those people who neglect it.

I certainly agree with Steeroid though that first all those car drivers who drive with their headlights in uppers must be banned.

For govt to make these safety features compulsary there should be that amount of cars available at a good price which again is not possible until and unless we start buying only the cars with these features
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Old 22nd November 2005, 13:19   #39
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In the past 10 years,we have had a whole new bunch of cars coming in to our country.Even Cars which can touch 200kmph.Seatbelts,ABS,EBD,airbags...all are a must on Indian roads, especially highways as we donot have speed limits.Personal & occupant safety is of prime concern to me.But,I would prefer the govt to make our roads safer,by giving good roads,pavements,dividers & street lighting & ofcourse educating our drivers & pedestrians on safe driving & walking too....

Introducing world class cars should go hand in hand with providing safe conditions for driving.
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