NEW CAR ASSESSMENT PROGRAMME (NCAP)
WHY IN NEWS ?
- India will soon get its own crash safety star rating for four-wheelers from 1 October to make cars safer than they are today.
WHAT IS BHARAT NCAP ?
- It is a new safety assessment programme for passenger vehicles that can seat up to eight people and weigh less than 3.5 tonnes. It will bring India at par with other parts of the world like
- the US, Europe, Japan, Australia and Latin America that have NCAPs of their own.
- As part of the programme, cars will be crash-tested and given points which in turn would translate into stars.
- The safest of the lot will get five stars.
- Bharat NCAP will bring about more transparency, create awareness among consumers and help buyers choose cars on their safety credentials.
NEED OF NCAP :
- Bharat New Car Assessment Programme (Bharat NCAP) will serve as a consumer-centric platform, allowing customers to opt for safer cars based upon their Star-Ratings, while promoting a healthy competition among original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in India to manufacture safer vehicles.
- Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death globally and the principal cause of death in the age group of 15 to 49 years.
- Every year the lives of approximately 1.3 million people are cut short globally as a result of a road traffic crash.
- Unfortunately, more than 90 percent of road traffic deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, even within high-income countries, people from lower socio-economic backgrounds are more likely to be involved in road traffic crashes.
- India, ranks at the top with highest number of fatalities with about 11% share in the world.
TESTING OF CARS UNDER NCAP :
- There will be three types of crash tests — frontal, side and pole-side impact tests.
- The frontal test would be carried out at 64 kmph while the side and pole-side (when a side hits a pole or a tree) tests would be at 50 kmph and 29 kmph.
- Scoring would be done for both adult safety for front passengers and child safety at the rear.
- Out of a maximum 32 points for adult safety, a car would have to score at least 27 for a 5-star rating.
- For child safety, a 5-star rating would be awarded for those cars that score a minimum 41 out of 49 points.
- For child safety, points would also be given for restraint systems like ISOFIX anchorages.
Will all cars come with star ratings from 1 October?
- Bharat NCAP will be rolled out from 1 October but it will be voluntary, so cars will only be tested at the request of makers.
- Currently, all cars in India have to qualify a basic conformity crash test which is more lenient — the frontal crash test, for example, is conducted at 56 kmph.
- No star ratings are given, so consumers cannot choose on the basis of safety credentials.
WHY NCAP IS NOT MANDATORY ?
- Even in developed countries, NCAPs are mostly voluntary.
- They are aimed at nudging firms to offer more than the basic safety features by sparking competition.
- For example to achieve at least 3 stars, cars would have to be equipped with electronic stability control and curtain airbags, which are not needed to pass the basic approval tests.
- Many firms have already started providing these features as standard in anticipation of this, such as the new Hyundai Exter and Kia Carens.
- Maruti now offers ESC as standard in many of its cars.
STEPS TAKEN BY GOVERNMENT TO REDUCE ACCIDENTS AND FATALITIES:
- The road accidents are multi-causal which requires multi-pronged measures to mitigate the problems through concerted efforts of all agencies of both Central Government and State Governments.
- The blackspots are being rectified by providing immediate short-term measures such as cautionary road signs and markings, transverse bar markings, rumble strips and solar blinkers etc.
- For long term rectification, measures such as Flyover, Underpasses, Foot over Bridges, Service roads etc. are being provided wherever required.
- Emergency / medical facilities for the road accident victims are provided as per the respective contract / concession agreements signed between NHAI and the contractor / concessionaire.
- Fitment of front airbag for driver was mandated from 01st July 2019.
- From 01st April 2021 for new models and 31st December 2021 for all models, fitment of co-driver airbag was also made mandatory.
- Mandatory fitment of Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), applicable for 4 wheelers and for 2-wheelers with engine capacity greater than 125 cc, got implemented from 01st April 2018 for new models and 01st April 2019 for all models.
- For 2-wheelers with engine capacity less than or equal to 125 cc, ABS or Combined Braking System (CBS) must be fitted.
- Introduction of Bharat New Car Assessment Program (BNCAP). The program is proposed to be implemented from 01st April 2023.
- We must all strive to do our part to ensure that we receive what we deserve – safer roads and safer communities, once and for all.
- To improve safety and reduce road crash casualties, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRT&H) has entrusted the Indian Road Safety Campaign (a non-profit organization) to lead road safety activities aimed at upping grass root level citizen involvement in road safety measures across the nation.
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