The government is working on a new car safety assessment program that will bring in mandatory star rating, while full frontal crash tests could be mandatory for all new cars by October 2015.
With the zilch amount of crash protection in our cars, road safety is a growing concern that needs to be addressed at the earliest. This year brought up some grave issues on the basic safety standards in our cars with the government too finally taking notice of the issue. While promises have been made in the past as well, it now seems that something concrete is happening with a more streamlined approach and visible targets. As per the recent reports, the government is planning to implement basic vehicle safety in line with global standards for adult, child and pedestrian protection, while a completely new car safety assessment program is also set to roll out in the next 4-5 years for all new cars sold in India.
Termed as the Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Programme (BNVSAP), the new assessment program is expected to be out between October 2017 and October 2020 and will be mandated for all-new cars that will be sold from October 2017 onward. The program includes a full frontal and rear crash test, while features like ABS, seat belt reminder, and child lock functionality check will be mandated on all cars. Every new car will have to meet the assessment program before they are sold out in the market.
The implementation of crash test assessment and safety ratings will start 3 years later as the auto manufacturers need the time to make the transition to comply with the new norms and change product designs as well as assembly lines. The programme will be implemented in three phases over the years. The move could also see some of the models (including new ones) being retired from the market in favour of safer cars on the roads. A highly appreciated decision, it is high time certain auto manufacturers sit up and do a re-check on the dismal safety standards their cars possess.
Furthermore, the government has also planned to make full frontal crash test at 56 km/hr mandatory and is currently working on establishing these crash test facilities that will be operational by March 2015. Post the establishment, manufacturers will have 6 months to comply with the norm that mandates crash testing every new car before it hits the market from October 2015. Coming to the BNVSAP, there will also be a crash testing body that will choose the new vehicle to be taken up for assessment. In addition to the mandatory star rating for new models, the government also intends to allow voluntary star rating for old models.