The government will make it mandatory for carmakers to provide a minimum of six airbags in motor vehicles that can carry up to eight passengers for enhanced safety of occupants, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Monday.
Addressing 'Intel India’s Safety Pioneers Conference 2022', Gadkari said every year, around 1.5 lakh people are killed in five lakh accidents across the country. "We have decided to make it mandatory to provide a minimum of six airbags in motor vehicles... We want to save the lives of the people," the road transport and highways minister said.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) in January said that to enhance the safety of occupants of motor vehicles against lateral impact, it has been decided to enhance safety features by amending the Central Motor Vehicles Rules (CMVR), 1989.
"A draft notification has been issued on January 14, 2022, which mandates that vehicles of category M1, manufactured after October 1, 2022, shall be fitted with two side/side torso airbags, one each for the persons occupying front row outboard seating positions, and two side-curtain/tube airbags, one each for the persons occupying outboard seating positions," it had said.
An airbag is a vehicle occupant-restraint system that interferes between the driver and the vehicle's dashboard during a collision, thereby preventing serious injuries. He added: "We need cooperation from all stakeholders (including the automobile industry)."
His remarks come against the backdrop of the automobile industry raising concerns that high taxation and stricter safety and emission norms have made their products expensive.