Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday launched the country’s first crash testing programme Bharat NCAP, which is aimed at improving road safety standards of motor vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes.
This is an important day for automobile industry and the society as it will improve the safety features of vehicles, the minister for road, transport and highways said in his address. The Bharat NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme) mechanism has been prepared in a systematic way keeping all stakeholders’ view into account, he said. The country is facing two challenges, namely road accident and air pollution. Every year around 5 lakh accidents take place in India and 1.5 lakh deaths due to these accidents, Gadkari said, adding Bharat NCAP is India’s own crash testing programme which aims to improve safety features in the vehicles.
Bharat NCAP will be implemented from October 1, 2023. Under the programme, car manufacturers can voluntarily offer their vehicles tested as per the Automotive Industry Standard (AIS) 197. Based on the performance of the car in the tests, the vehicle will be awarded star ratings on a scale of 0-5, for adult occupants (AOP) and child occupants (COP). Potential car customers can refer to these star ratings to compare the safety standards of different vehicles and accordingly make their purchase decision.
It is expected that the demand for safer cars will increase, encouraging the car manufacturers to comply with customer needs, an official statement said. “With high safety standards, Indian cars will be able to compete better in the global market, increasing the export potential of the car manufacturers in India. The programme is expected to develop a safety sensitive car market in India,” the ministry for road, transport and highways said.