At the Indian Auto Safety Conference in support of #SaferCarsforIndia in New Delhi on May 16 that Global NCAP announced the crash test results of second batch of Indian cars – Renault Kwid, Mahindra Scorpio, Maruti Eeco, Maruti Celerio, and Hyundai Eon. All of them scored a 0 safety rating. First batch of crash test results were revealed in 2014.
These results has not only been criticized by consumers in India, but also people around the world. Major newspapers and online media has carried the story of how Indian cars have failed miserably in safety tests.
One of the major reason behind such poor performance is that there is no watchdog. Indian car manufacturers do not have to pass a safety crash test before launching a product in the market, which has resulted in this free run of unsafe cars on Indian roads.
But change is around the corner. Abhay Damle, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways announced India’s very own new car assessment program, likely to be called Bharat NCAP.
Details are being worked out and will be finalized in a week while the same will be made public in the next 10 days. AV Mannikar, senior deputy director, Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) has stated that Bharat NCAP will be very much like the other NCAPs around the world. Sadly, it will initially be voluntary which means car manufacturers with bad safety rating will still be allowed to be on sale.
Under Bharat NCAP, proposed speed for offset front crash testing vehicles is at 56 kmph which is lower than Global NCAP (64 kmph). A speed warning feature is also to be made mandatory on all vehicles under Bharat NCAP while there could also be a system to define end of life of a vehicle. As indicated by Global NCAP Secretary General David Ward strict government intervention would be required to bring down road accidents and make roads safer.
Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways stated that the new Bharat NCAP proposal will be tabled at the next session of parliament. Special emphasis will be paid to ensuring safer roads not only via better and safer driving but also by enhancing quality of roads in the country.