Speaking to the Parliament, Anant Geete, Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, stated that the government has no proposal to make airbags mandatory in the future but has specified stringent occupant safety norms in case of frontal collisions from October 2017.
Like the governments of developed nations, India will not make a particular safety technology mandatory but will specify the occupant safety levels. It’s up to the automakers to figure out a way to comply with the set standards. It’s to be noted that making airbags standard across all variants is the straight forward way for automakers to comply with the upcoming emission norms. In other words, it will be almost impossible for automakers to meet the standards without offering airbags.
Norms for the protection of occupants in the event of lateral and offset frontal collisions, in addition to requirements for behavior of steering mechanism under head-on collision will be applicable for new models from October 1, 2017 and for all the existing models from October 1, 2019.
The government has also specified safety standards for pedestrians and other vulnerable road users. This standard will come into place from October 1, 2018 for new models and from October 1, 2020 for all models. The government has also prescribed over 60 mandatory safety tests for vehicles before they receive the road worthy certificate.