New Delhi: In an effort to offer safety in cars, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways on Tuesday proposed to make airbags for front passenger mandatory. Also Read - Govt Makes FASTags Mandatory For All Vehicles From Jan 1, Says Useful For Commuters

According to a draft notification prepared by the Transport Ministry, the Centre plans to implement this safety norm for all new models of cars which are manufactured from April 1, 2021, onwards. And, for already existing units, the date for complying with the new rule is proposed to be June 1, 2021. Also Read - Amid Coronavirus Pandemic, Govt Extends Validity of Motor Vehicle Documents Till December 31

In this regard, the Centre has invited stakeholders to comment on its proposed new rule in the next one month. Earlier, the Centre had made having an airbag mandatory for the driver’s seat in all cars. This had come into effect on July 1, 2019. Also Read - Good News For Motorists: Centre Extends Validity of Driving Licence, Learner's License, Registrations Till Sept 30

“Vehicles manufactured on and after 1st Day of April 2021, in the case of new models, and 1st day of June 2021, in the case of existing models, shall be fitted with airbag for the person occupying the front seat, other than the driver. The requirement for such airbag shall be as per AIS 145…under the Bureau of Indian Standards act, 2016,” the draft notification issued by the Transport Ministry stated.

For now, only the driver’s seat airbag is mandatory for all cars. However, this leaves the passenger in the front seat completely vulnerable to severe injury or even death in case of accidents as the passengers in the front seat are not protected by the airbag.

Low-cost inclusions such as speed alert, reverse parking sensors and seat-belt reminders are some of the standard features in most cars but life-saving airbags are still not mandatory in India.

The government has invited the concerned stakeholders to give suggestions on the matter in the next one month. Airbag for drivers was made mandatory by the union government from July 2019.