In a measure to boost passenger safety, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has proposed to make it mandatory that an airbag be provided for the passenger seated on the front seat of a vehicle, next to the driver.
The proposed timelines for implementation are April 1, 2021, for new models and June 1, 2021, for existing models.
A draft notification to this effect has been published on the Ministry’s website and the Ministry has asked for comments/suggestions from all stakeholders in the next 30 days.
The government has been in talks with various stakeholders to maximise safety in vehicles, co-driver seat airbag being one of the crucial ones. The Ministry was also in favour of dual airbags in the front as the current regulation (introduced last year) for only driver’s airbag is thought to be inadequate.
Most of the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) already provide dual airbags on their top-end vehicles, and only some companies, including Ford India, Honda Cars India, Toyota and Volkswagen, provide front airbags as a standard.