For Eight-Seater Vehicles, Six Airbags To Be Made Mandatory, Says Nitin Gadkari

Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday said the government would make it mandatory for car manufacturers to provide atleast six airbags in eight-seater vehicles for enhanced safety of occupants, PTI reported. Addressing ‘Intel India’s Safety Pioneers Conference 2022’, Gadkari said around 1.5 lakh people are killed in five lakh accidents across the country every year.

“We have decided to make it mandatory to provide a minimum of six airbags in motor vehicles…We want to save the lives of the people,” PTI quoted Gadkari as saying.

“We need cooperation from all stakeholders (including automobile industry),” Gadkari further said.

In January, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) had amended the Central Motor Vehicles Rules (CMVR), 1989, to enhance the safety of occupants of motor vehicles against lateral impact.

“A draft notification has been issued on January 14, 2022, which mandates that vehicles of category M1, manufactured after October 1, 2022, shall be fitted with two side/side torso air bags, one each for the persons occupying front row outboard seating positions, and two side curtain/tube air bags, one each for the persons occupying outboard seating positions,” it had said.

An airbag is a pillow-like device that inflates during a collision, providing a cushion for the occupants’ bodies. Thus, it prevents their direct collision with objects such as the steering wheel or dashboard inside a car.

The minister’s remarks come at a time when the automobile industry is raising concerns that high taxation and stricter safety and emission norms have made their products expensive.