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Come October 2018, pedestrian safety features will become mandatory in all new cars. The new move by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) is in wake of the rising complaints that car manufacturers are concentrating only on passenger safety measures and not considering the risks, the pedestrians are involved in.
Many leading car manufacturers such as the German trio, plus Volvo and Jaguar offer various advanced and sophisticated pedestrian safety features in the majority of their line-up. Swedish automaker Volvo is one step ahead when it comes to such non-passenger safety features, from a lower price point.
Pedestrian safety measures have long been neglected in India according to many and it was only recently when the government made airbags and ABS mandatory in all cars. If we take a global perspective, the safety norms which have been framed over the years have revolutionised car design. Today's cars have better impact-absorbing panels, thicker pillars and efficient chassis frameworks.
Abhay Damle, Joint Secretary, MoRTH shared, "Advanced Safety features in all vehicles in India as vehicle safety cannot be confined to luxury vehicles only. Features such as Anti-Lock braking have already been mandatory in Two wheelers and by next month (October 2018) all new cars will have pedestrian safety features including anew design of the bonnet to reduce the impact on pedestrians during accidents."
The ministry is aiming to uplift India's safety standards to the same level asthat in the USA by 2022. Regarding this, Abhay Damle further added, "By the year 2022 most of our vehicle safety will be at par with global standards and some safety features may surpass United States safety standards even. But thereal challenge is bringing in maximum safety at anaffordable cost so that pricing of vehicles does not go up steeply."
Global NCAP recently launched the Stop The Crash initiative in India at Buddh International Circuit (BIC) — the country's only F1 track. The initiative focussed on various driver aids which functions to a prevent an accident from happening. Live demonstrations showed how four-wheelers and two-wheelers can be safer with Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS).
*all images used are for representational purposes only.
Thoughts On Pedestrian Safety Features Becoming Mandatory In India
At this point, it is not clear how manufacturers would implement such pedestrian safety features in entry-level vehicles without increasing the price. But since safety standards are being updated more frequently than before, we expect even sub-five-lakh cars to feature ESC, AEB and ABS as standard at some point in time, if not in the near future.