NEW DELHI: All new car models would need to have airbag for front-seat passengers from next April and all existing models would get this from June 1, the road transport ministry proposed in a draft notification issued on Monday.
The ministry said this mandatory provision across all cars irrespective of their class and price is being done to boost passenger safety. Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari has maintained that the government won’t compromise on passenger safety at any cost. Airbag for drivers has been made mandatory in all cars since July 1, 2019.
Just one airbag for the driver is inadequate since it leaves the co-passenger in the front seat vulnerable to serious injury, or even death, in case of a crash.
TOI on December 18 had first reported about the transport ministry’s plan to introduce this mandatory feature.
This paper on October 9 last year had reported how the initial draft circulated by the transport ministry over three years ago had proposed mandating two airbags in front as part of a major overhaul of in-vehicle safety of passengers, but finally, it had mandated airbag only for the driver’s seat.
Following this, the ministry early this year took the matter to the apex technical committee for recommending vehicle standards and it was cleared there.