MIS­SION SAFETY

Auto components India - - EDITORIAL - Bhar­gav TS Ex­ec­u­tive Editor s.bhar­gav@nextgen­pub­lish­ing.net

The pro­duc­tion and sales of ve­hi­cles in In­dia have grown steadily over the years. Along with that, road ac­ci­dents have also been on the rise. In­dia has the du­bi­ous dis­tinc­tion of hav­ing the high­est road fa­tal­i­ties in the world. On an av­er­age 142,000 lives are lost on roads each year. In order to en­hance safety and to re­duce fa­tal­i­ties the govern­ment of In­dia has brought in the Safety Code ef­fec­tive from Oc­to­ber 2017.

The Bharat New Ve­hi­cle Safety As­sess­ment Pro­gramme (BNVSAP) is all set to start its op­er­a­tions from this month. It will be in tune with the norms of the Global NCAP. All new cars launched af­ter Oc­to­ber 1, 2017 must meet the new BNVSAP norms. The older run­ning ve­hi­cles have un­til 2019 to com­ply with them. As In­dia has a long way to go for ve­hi­cle and pedes­trian safety, im­ple­men­ta­tion of the new safety norms is a wel­come im­per­a­tive.

It is high time for the In­dian so­ci­ety to adopt the ‘Vi­sion Zero’ mis­sion of the United Na­tions. The premier leg­isla­tive and re­search bodies of the govern­ment should also ad­vo­cate road safety as supreme. The au­to­mo­tive reg­u­la­tory bodies should en­force the safety norms and guide­lines. The ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­tur­ers should adopt all avail­able ve­hic­u­lar safety tech­nolo­gies and aim at safety lead­er­ship of their prod­ucts.

It is only fair that ve­hic­u­lar safety is democra­tised across global au­to­mo­tive mar­kets. It is the vi­sion of Global NCAP that all cars must meet ba­sic stan­dards for both pro­tec­tion and crash avoid­ance by 2020. Though the new safety norms and tech­nolo­gies will make ve­hi­cles safer, will they dra­mat­i­cally im­prove road safety? In In­dia it calls for a mul­ti­pronged ap­proach, bet­ter road en­gi­neer­ing, traf­fic man­age­ment, ed­u­ca­tion and skilling of driv­ers, im­proved con­sid­er­a­tion for pedes­trian mo­bil­ity, to make roads safer. A sys­tem of sci­en­tific in­ves­ti­ga­tion and anal­y­sis of road ac­ci­dents has never been more rel­e­vant for In­dia.

Road safety in In­dia is a multi-bil­lion busi­ness op­por­tu­nity as new norms and reg­u­la­tions are be­ing en­forced. Cars that do not have airbags would get only the low­est safety rat­ing even af­ter pass­ing other tests. Sens­ing the up­com­ing de­mand, the safety com­po­nent and equip­ment mak­ers are in­creas­ing their ca­pac­i­ties. Ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey, it is pre­dicted that by 2020, the over­all rev­enues from the sale of airbags in the coun­try would rise 11% a year and touch $2 bil­lion.

In this is­sue we are high­light­ing some of the road safety ini­tia­tives of the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try. All stake­hold­ers must ac­tively par­tic­i­pate in this `Mis­sion safety’ drive, which is gath­er­ing mo­men­tum, to make our roads safer.

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