One of the biggest problems and strengths of countries like India and China, is that they have a lot of people in them. That means that there’s always a source of cheap labour and that there’s a huge pool to draw from when it comes to finding talented individuals for various jobs, but it also means that there are a lot of people on the roads. This again has led to India making some of the best cheap cars in the world, often costing just a thousand or two, but that does mean some cuts have been made, most notably in safety.
However now the Indian government has pledged to also introduce mandatory safety testing, which could lead to the local car-makers having a bigger impact on the global stage, as their safer and hopefully still affordable vehicles, will mean international customers see them as a potential purchasing options.
The Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Programme (BNVSAP) is set to come into play in 2017 and be fully realised by 2020. It will take on the role of safety testing Indian vehicles, making sure that they can handle crashes to the sides and front, with all car makers forced to make cars ‘safe’ to crash at speeds up to 56 kilometres per hour. While this isn’t quite as safe as you would find some cars are in Western nations, it’s a good step in the right direction and will certainly be an improvement over the current state of affairs in India.
As it stands, both China and India lose around a quarter of a million people each per year to road-traffic deaths. Between them they make up almost half of all car based fatalities in the world and they are far ahead of the third place country: Nigeria, with just 50,000 deaths per year.
It’s these stark figures that have prompted the Indian government to act. By making cars sold there safer, it’s hoped that India will be able to cut back on accidents on the road and injuries to drivers and passengers.
To help this happen, the BNVSAP will create testing facilities for different types of crash tests, allowing manufacturers to bring their vehicles to the centre to trial them.
As well as needing to make all new cars safety compliant by the late 20’teens, car manufacturers in India are also going to be required to move their current models over to the new system and make them safe for drivers as well. However, they will be given some time to do this since manufacturing will need to be changed and some models of car re-designed to incorporate features like air-bags and better crumple zones technology.
The BNVSAP will also be conducting its own testing, to make sure that manufacturers stick to new regulations and mandatory testing at random times may be implemented to make sure that nobody is cheating the system in order to make extra money.
While the public is pleased with this news, there is some concerns that motoring manufacturers will use the three year lead in on these new laws, to lobby government to change it back to the way it was before. Fingers crossed that doesn’t happen.
Image Sources: Tata Nano, Dan Paluska