New Delhi: After the government of India extended the date mandating six airbags in passenger cars by one year (October 1, 2023), the road safety body, International Road Federation (IRF) has urged the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) Nitin Gadkari to withdraw the notification.Also Read – Travel From Delhi To Mumbai In 12 Hours By Road: First Phase of Expressway To Be Completed This Year
IRF pointed out that the move is likely to become counterproductive, could result in more severe injuries and deaths if seat belts not worn by the passengers in the vehicle. Also Read – Cannot Make Cycle Tracks In Mumbai Due To Space Constraints: Gadkari
It further said only once 85 per cent of the passengers start wearing rear seat belts, the six airbags rule should be brought in. “Once this figure crosses 85 per cent pan India, the government should go ahead making this provision of six airbags. Otherwise, it will become counterproductive and we will lose more lives.” said K.K. Kapila, President Emeritus, International Road Federation (IRF). Also Read – Delhi-Hapur Travel Becomes Expensive From Today, Toll Rates Increased By ₹15 | Details Here
“Unless people start wearing rear seat belts, the provision of six airbags will become counterproductive, leading to more fatal accidents. In a crash, seat belts are primary restraint devices whereas airbags are supplemental support. Rather Several global studies have shown that if an airbag is deployed without having the seat belt on, it can cause severe injuries and even death.” said Kapila.
“Seat belts and airbags are interrelated. An airbag without a seat belt can cause severe injury and even death. So, one has to use a seat belt to avoid serious injury. Airbags were specifically designed to be used with seatbelts–serious injuries may result in victims who are not properly restrained by seatbelts, are “out of position” when airbags deploy,” he said.
“According to MoRTH data, in 70 per cent of the 2-wheeler accident deaths, victims were found NOT wearing helmets; and in 87 per cent of the car accident deaths, victims were found NOT wearing seat belts. Sadly 96 per cent of car passengers do not wear seat belts on the backseat. It is high time that we move away from the populist ideology of mandating regulations, safety devices like six airbags, but bite the bitter pill of Enforcement and Penalties that may affect masses. Of course, harsh measures will face resistance and give discomfort initially, but eventually they will become a habit,” Kapila added.