Airbags, parking sensors mandatory for cars made after July 2019 to stop them from becoming 'death traps'

Government data shows that 1.51 lakh lives were lost in road accidents, out of which 74,000 were caused due to over-speeding.

All four-wheelers that come off the production line after July 1, 2019 will have to be mandatorily equipped with airbags, seat-belt reminders, reverse parking sensors, and a manual override for the central locking system. The Ministry of Road Transport has passed the mandate in order to better road safety scenario on Indian roads. The Ministry has already finalised the timeline for implementing these systems, which will officially notify in a few days, stated a report in The Times of India.

According to the report, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has approved the following changes to ensure passenger and pedestriaetn safety in light of the numerous deaths in road accidents. The budget cars, that are most common on city streets, usually have more than one of these safety features missing. The transport ministry decision is in accordance to global safety standards which state that "no vehicle should be a death trap". Existing car models will have to comply with the safety measures by October 1, 2019.

Government data shows that 1.51 lakh lives were lost in road accidents, out of which 74,000 were caused due to over-speeding. To check this, cars will now be fitted with an alert system which will issue audio signals once the vehicle crosses the 80 kmph mark. The intensity of the alert will increase once the car in doing 100 kmph and will become non-stop once the vehicle goes over 120 kmph, the TOI report said.

The manual override system for central locking system is in case of electrical failure during an accident. There have been reports were the central locking system in jammed in such cases and traps passengers in the vehicle. The manual override is expected to provide an emergency escape for the passengers in such cases.

"To reduce the possibility of accidents while parking in reverse gear, the provision of reverse parking alert is being introduced. When the car is put in reverse gear, the feature will give an indication to the driver whether there are objects in the rear monitoring range," the report stated about the provision of parking sensors in the transport ministry timeline.

As per the report, transport ministry sources said airbags and reverse parking sensors will be made mandatory for light commercial vehicles too which run urban areas. The sources added that the implementing the provisions on ground will expedite employing frontal and side crash test in cars.