The Gauhati high court wants the central government to make frontal crash tests and emission tests mandatory for quadricycles, due to their safety hazards.
In what comes as an interesting update in the quadricycle segment, in an interim order, the Gauhati high court has directed the central government to restrict auto manufacturers to launch and retail four-wheelers with a weight of up to 1500 kgs without taking them through a crash and emission test. Since quadricycles are part of the M1 category (passenger vehicles with not more than eight seats in addition to the driver’s seat), emission norms that are applicable to motor vehicles should be applied for quadricycles and not emission norms that relate to two and three-wheelers.
Quadricycles are basically light weight four-wheeled vehicles that are only meant for intra-city travelling. This particular category of vehicles was only notified by the government on 19th February 2014. As a result of this, many high courts across the country have issued stay orders for the introduction of these vehicles on Indian roads. The order passed by the Gauhati high court raises the safety and emission requirements for not only quadricycles, but also for all those four-wheeled vehicles (both passenger and goods) that weigh up to 1500 kgs.
While referring to the European New Car Assessment Programme (ENCAP) test that was conducted on Indian vehicles late last year, airbags and a sturdy frontal body are the primary conditions for safety of all the inhabitants in a vehicle. But according to the test that took place in November 2014, M1 and N1 (goods vehicles with a maximum weight of 3.5 tonnes) category vehicles sold in India actually do not conform to the standard of the emission test and have not even passed the crash test either.
Recently the government made it compulsory for all new models to meet minimum requirements in front crash tests, side crash tests and for pedestrian protection from October 2017 onwards. This means that car companies will have to install airbags and ABS on all their models (thank God!). The first crash test facility of our country is due to come in Pune under ARAI by the end of this year.