Safety Standards Of Vehicles and Road Accidents In India!

Safety Standards Of Vehicles and Road Accidents In India!

Safety Standards Of Vehicles and Road Accidents In India!


  • Recently, the government conveyed concerns over reports that manufacturers are selling vehicles with deliberately downgraded safety standards in India.
  • The government said that the prescribed safety standards are only met for the high-end products in many of the leading automobile industries in India, in a seminar organized by SIAM( Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers).

What is SIAM:

  • It aims to achieve sustainable development of the Indian automobile industry and also to promote the development of alternative energy vehicles.
  • It works closely with the Govt. of India and shares the vision to promote safety, address air quality improvement, compliance with standards.

       Fact: Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) is the nodal agency for road safety in India.

Issues with road accidents in India:

  • Road accidents are a serious public health problem in India. More than 1.5 lakh people die every year in road accidents.
  • The number of deaths per year matches that of the total casualties we had due to COVID in the past year yet there are not enough safety measures and accountability for those responsible as compared to the pandemic.
  • The govt. had targeted to reduce the number of road fatalities by 50% by the year 2020, while the lockdown might have helped to bring the total numbers down, the bigger picture still persists that we are no closer to what we had targeted.
  • Increased urbanization in India causes grave road congestion in most areas which in turn contributes to accidents.
    Previous data suggest that the most number of people who die in road accidents are in the age group of 15-34, the young workforce of the country.
  • 17 people are killed in an hour every day in India.
  • In more than 3/4th of the road accidents occur because of the fault of the drive and the most precarious reason for speeding.

Way ahead:

  • India became a signatory to the Brasilia Declaration in 2015. It aims to restructure the transport policies in order to promote more sustainable modes of transport such as walking, cycling, using public transport, and pool traveling.
  • The rate with which the number of vehicles is increasing, the same rate is not seen in the development of road networks, this needs to be taken care of.
  • Young people, reckless driving are the two biggest concerns in addressing the issue. Awareness, a sense of responsibility, strict measures, and penalties must be enforced for those who do not abide by the regulation.
  • A strict regulation while giving license and a periodic check is also warranted for such a grave situation.

How does vehicle safety standards help: A particular study showed that updated safety standards in vehicles accounted for a 27% reduction in bodily injury claim frequency and a 19% reduction in property damage frequency.

What is the Govt. doing in relation to vehicle safety standards:

  • Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program (BNVSAP) is introduced to standardize a safety program that will measure the safety of every car model being sold in India and will rate them according to how they fare against the crash tests.
  • This program also provides lists of safety measures that need to be mandated for new cars and ensures that every manufacturer adheres to the same.
  • The BNVSAP is the 10th New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) which is recognized globally.
  • The Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act 2019 was a change in the right direction. The act saw a rampant rise in fines and an even greater rise in the fines of repeated offenders.


  • The first NCAP was set up in 1979, by the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  • Later, different regions according to their own safety standards put forward an assessment program of their own for each and every car that goes to the market. Example: EURO NCAP, Latin NCAP, ASEAN NCAP, etc.


    • Looking at the grave situation the development of infrastructure for road networks could go a long way in addressing the issue.
    • Regulations to ensure the vehicles meet the standards set by the authority would ensure accountability.
    • Programs to raise awareness about the issue among the young demographics of India could lead to better results.
    • The promotion of sustainable modes of transportation such as cycling, walking is a holistic approach to address the issue.
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