Govt. mulls mandatory front seat airbags

The government on Tuesday said it has proposed to make airbag mandatory for the passenger in the front seat of a vehicle.

The step aims at improving passenger safety in case of accidents.

The Road Transport Ministry has issued a draft notification in this regard.

“In a significant measure to boost passenger safety, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways proposes 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 Ministry said in a statement.

The proposed timelines for the implementation of the move is April 1 for new models and June 1, 2021, for existing models.

The government’s proposal to make dual front airbags mandatory will lead to an increase in price and vehicle manufacturers should absorb the major hike in costs to prevent impact on sales, the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) said.

“We hope original equipment manufacturers absorb the major input cost of the second airbag as it will impact sales in short term which will be bad for the industry that still lags in year-on-year growth after COVID-19 hit us hard,” he said.

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