India Walks on the Road of Safety
Recent news in the Indian automotive market:
- Tata Nexon became first made in India car to earn Global NCAP 5-star ratings for crash safety.
- India celebrated the first week of February as road safety week.
- Global NCAP innovation award presented to Mr Nitin Gadkari (Minister for Road and Highway Transport), for government’s legislative action to improve vehicle safety in India.
- In an interesting announcement at the SIAM annual conference, Nitin Gadkari, (Minister for Road and Highway Transport) said, “By 2022, we will work on a mandate on bringing Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) in all cars.”
- From April 1, ABS is mandatory on all four wheelers, two-wheelers in India.
- Come July 1, all cars will have to be equipped with a driver-side airbag, a speed warning system, a seatbelt reminder for driver and co-driver, and rear parking sensors as standard.
- All the cars sold after October 1, 2019, Will have to clear prescribed BNVSAP Tests.
Nobody thought that coin will flip so quickly in the budget-oriented Indian market. Not long ago, Global NCAP rated popular cars in India ‘Zero’ for safety features. The world took the beating of all the Indian automotive market players. People were shocked to hear the truth. Even the government was not ready to accept it. Many brands were selling low-quality models in India just to survive in the market. Indian people always preferred cars with a low price and high mileage and hence the market was like this.
Car owner always had this excuse that the Indian market is not ready for yet such features. After all this blame game, the government decided to have a special rating programme for car safety features. It is called ‘BNVSAP’. In this in-house facility, cars were tested to offset front crash, side impact and rear impacts, in which equipment such as front airbags, ABS (Anti-lock braking system) and seatbelt reminders will become a necessity in cars to clear these tests. Over the course of time, cars will have to meet more stringent norms concerning pedestrian protection, whiplash protection and child restraint systems.
We have the world’s second largest road network. And yes, we need to improve our road infrastructure and its quality. We need to educate our people and drivers too. It’s not just ok to have safe cars. There are other vehicles. There is pedestrian safety as well. We have a lot to do and a lot to improve. But we have started. And we have started well. Finally, India walks on the road of safety.