Airbag for passenger seat in front likely to be mandatory for all cars

The government will soon make it mandatory for all cars, including the economy models, to have air bag for the passenger side on the front seat. Airbag for the driver’s side is mandatory in all cars since July 1, 2019.

The apex technical committee on vehicle standards has given the go-ahead to this proposal and the government has issued a draft notification to amend automotive industry standard (AIS) dealing with safety features. Sources said the road transport ministry is working on the time-line from when the new norm can kick in. One year would be enough to comply with such norm, a source said. The current regulation mandating single airbag is inadequate since it leaves the co-passenger in the front seat vulnerable to serious injury, or even death, in case of a road crash. Features such as speed alert, reverse parking sensors and seat-belt reminder, which were low-cost inclusions, have been standard features in vehicles, but the crucial safety gear for passengers on the front seat – airbag – has not been made mandatory so far. The amendment to the particular AIS has also proposed that child lock systems shall not be permitted for all four-wheelers used for commercial transport purposes.