GRSP Supported Safer Cars Campaign in India
Safer Cars in India is an initiative of Consumer VOICE supported by GRSP. Vehicle Safety is often overlooked in India. However, car accidents on Indian roads are often a result of poor safety standards in the car. The purpose of this campaign was to minimize deaths and serious injuries occurring in or due to car accidents on Indian Roads by enhancing car safety standards in India which can be at par with or better than global standards.
- To minimize deaths and injuries caused due to poor car safety standards in India
- To advocate for adoption/creation of regulations/standards for Indian cars on occupant protection in front collisions; occupant protection in lateral collisions; seatbelts and seatbelt anchorages; electronic stability control; and, pedestrian protection at par with global standards.
- To push the demand for safer passenger car in India by educating/sensitizing consumers and other stakeholders on car safety issues.
The main challenges faced were lack of proper information regarding progress for car safety standards/regulations in India, which was solved by seeking information under RTI and meetings with relevant stakeholders.
The project began with a basic in-house research on car safety issues to map stakeholders. This desk research contributed in preparing a booklet and briefing paper covering all issues involved in car safety in India and to prepare content for our awareness material, media and advocacy inputs. The material was developed by an expert. Click here for a Guide to Buying a Safer Car
There was lack of proper official stand and information regarding progress of car safety regulations in India. So, to gather that information, RTI was filed with the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRT&H), New Delhi.
The information received, as result of the RTI revealed very important information for our project. This was used to formulate our strategies and also for dissemination with consumers. The gist of the RTI information is given below:
“Car safety issue on Automotive Industry Standards 098 and 099 are based on the BNVSAP notification dated 28/04/2015 on mandatory features notifications issued has not been challenged by SIAM or any other car manufacturers and hence it stands – Mandatory for new vehicles from 1st October 2017 and 1st October 2018 for existing vehicles.”
SENSITIZATION OF CSO PARTNERS
The purpose was to sensitize all CSO partners about the car safety issues to take them on board right from the beginning. A workshop was conducted for orientation on various aspects of Car safety and in preparing them for their campaign plan. The long-term aim of the event was to create a cadre and network of car safety activists across India to carry forward the project mission of car safety. These trained participants were further involved in project activities and where they worked as a catalyst to sustain the project objectives even after its completion.
There was technical session held to brief them about car safety project, its activities, and importance for consumers so that they can help us in advocacy to attain project objectives and in dissemination of the message in their areas of influence.
A meeting with the President of The Institute of Road Traffic Education was organised to discuss various aspects of new developments in BNVSAP (Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program). The Institute of Road Traffic Education is the leading organization working on car safety issues with the Global NCAP in India.
With the concerted efforts the government has mandated safety features which are going to be implemented by car manufacturers in a phased manner.
Government of India will be soon launching Bharat NCAP (New Car Assessment Program) which is similar to the Global NCAP. It is named as Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program (BNVSAP). New cars will be given star ratings which will depend upon the safety performance on various parameters.
From July 2019 BNVSAP will be mandatory for all new cars. Under the new set of guidelines every car sold in India will be required to have safety features like ABS (anti-lock braking system), reverse parking sensors, speed-warning systems, seat belt warning light, and airbags as standard.
The Bharat NCAP will also mandate the front of the vehicle to be designed in such a way that any injury to pedestrians is also minimized. This can be done by redesigning the bumper, hood (bonnet), and the windshield to be energy absorbing without compromising the structural integrity of the car. There will also be a rating system on fuel efficiency.
The speed alert will warn the drivers if he/she exceeds 80 km/h and will continue to warn the driver if the speed limit exceeds 100 km/h.
These standard safety features will help in avoiding accidents which are caused by over speeding. AIS-145 will also save the driver during a crash as it will now have front airbags and seat belt warning.
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