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Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari today said the government has approved a draft GSR notification to make a minimum of 6 airbags compulsory for vehicles carrying up to 8 passengers.

“In order to enhance the safety of the occupants in motor vehicles carrying upto 8 passengers, I have now approved a Draft GSR Notification to make a minimum of 6 Airbags compulsory. #RoadSafety #SadakSurakshaJeevanRaksha," tweeted the Union minister.

He said ministry had already mandated the implementation of fitment of the driver airbag from July 1, 2019, and front co-passenger airbag from January 1, 2022.

He said four additional airbags be mandated in the M1 vehicle category to minimise the impact of “frontal and lateral collisions" to the occupants seated in both front and rear compartments.

Also read: ‘Poor should also get protection’: Gadkari asks small car manufacturers to include more airbags

As per the minister, airbags will be made mandatory for two side or side torso airbags and two side curtain or tube airbags, covering all outboard passengers. "This is a crucial step to make motor vehicles in India safer than ever."

He also said this will ultimately ensure the safety of passengers across all segments, irrespective of the cost or variant of the vehicle.

Gadkari in August last year had urged all automakers in India to offer at least six airbags as standard on all variants of each model they produce.

Indian cars are famously behind their global counterparts in the terms of safety features. Companies that sell the same car in different markets also miss out on some key security features when launched in India. 

Gadkari had claimed that most small cars are purchased by lower-middle-class buyers and these cars should also have an adequate number of airbags. The minister also wondered why the manufacturers are providing up to eight airbags only in big cars, which are often purchased by rich people.

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