In a recent mandate by the transport department of India, all cars manufactured after July 1, 2019 will have to be equipped by certain safety features that are till now present in luxurious cars only. These include airbags, alert for overspeeding, seat-belt reminders, reverse parking alert and manual override over the central locking system for emergencies.
The manual override system will ensure ease of exit in case of emergency during an electric power failure, which renders the central locking feature non-functional and traps passengers. This has been reported in multiple vehicular accidents.
According to a report by the Times of India, the Union Transport Ministry has approved the timeline for the implementation of these systems and it will be notified in a few days.
Owing to the increasing number of road accidents, causing thousands of death per year, Union Road Transport minister Nitin Gadkari has approved the safety features for the passengers of a car as well as the pedestrians. In the year 2016, it is said that overspeeding alone accounted for nearly 74,000 of the 1.5 lakh deaths in road accidents. An official said, "The new cars will be fitted with a system that issues audio alerts when the speed crosses 80kmph. The alert will be sharper when the vehicle crosses 100 kmph, and non-stop when it's over 120 kmph." The official further added, "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."
Sources also believe that enforcement of the provisions would chalk the way for quicker implementation of frontal and side crash test for vehicles. Across the developed world, the focus is given more on ensuring the safety of the occupants and global safety experts argue that no vehicle should be a death trap.
According to a Financial Express report, a Twitter poll conducted by Ford India revealed that 70% of 22,000 respondents did not consider safety features before buying cars. What is more surprising is the fact that most of the car buyers are not there on Twitter, which escalates the problem to a different level altogether.