India is infamous for its poor road safety record. According to government statistics, 1.5 lakh people end up losing their lives annually due to road accidents. Of late, it looks like things are going to change for the good.
Last month the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi¬†approved¬†the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016.¬†Now the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH)¬†has announced that it will soon make it compulsory for all new vehicles to come equipped with rear parking sensors. MoRTH is also considering making speed sensors and airbags mandatory on all new vehicles.
‚ÄúMost cars come equipped with rear-view mirrors which are adequate for detecting vehicles behind a car. But they are inadequate for detecting small children or objects close to the ground, which fall in the car’s blind spot. We will soon issue a notification to make rear-view sensors mandatory in all vehicles,‚ÄĚ said Abhay Damle, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).
In order to improve road safety, the government has already made it mandatory for all two-wheelers to come equipped with ABS or CBS by April 2019. Damle also stated that from October 1, 2018, all vehicles will have to pass an automated fitness certification test which will have minimal human intervention. He revealed that by that time the driving license test will also become automated. ‚ÄúThis will help in reducing fatal road accidents,‚ÄĚ he added.
‚ÄúThe road ministry is also planning to make speed warning mandatory in vehicles on similar lines of seat belt wearing sign,‚ÄĚ he further added.
In June 2016, Diwakar Raote, Maharashtra‚Äôs transport minister had stated that he was planning to make speed governors compulsory on all vehicles. Considering the number of accidents that happen on our public roads, it‚Äôs about time the Indian government introduced measures to reduce the fatalities. If only ABS and airbags were made mandatory much earlier, maybe more lives would have been saved. As the old adage goes, better late than never.