However, this is an existing rule under the National Highways Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules 2008 which mandates the distance between any two toll gates on National Highways to be 60 km. Apart from this, Nitin Gadkari also commented about 6 airbags in cars.
Gadkari said in the Lok Sabha that “There are about 5 lakh road accidents in India every year and due to this, India is one of the countries with the highest number of road accidents in the world. About 1.5 lakh people lose their lives in these road accidents and about 3 lakh people become physically handicapped.”
He further said that “the time has come for India to adopt more stringent safety standards and these standards should be for both vehicles and pedestrians.” Nitin Gadkari said that the safety standards can be increased by making 6 airbags mandatory in the cars sold in India.
The auto industry, already under stress due to semiconductor chip shortage and rising commodity prices, was astonished to hear Nitin Gadkari’s statement regarding the six airbag rule. RC Bhargava, President, Maruti Suzuki India has commented on this statement by Nitin Gadkari.
He said that “this will reduce the sales of small cars. We are still below our peak which was in the year 2018-19, the peak sales were three years ago. Two of these years were affected by Covid-19 and one year was affected by Covid-19,” he said. -19 was not even the year (2019-20), but there was a drop of 18 per cent in sales.”
He said that “we haven’t even got there yet, so that means three years wasted and prices go up for other reasons, such as high prices for lack of material/chip as well as the cost of airbags we have.” So recovery will happen later, recovery will get push back.”
According to industry experts, if 6 airbags are made mandatory, each car could see a cost increase of at least Rs 18,000 to 22,000 (excluding GST). Gadkari has said on several occasions in the past that a draft notification has been passed to make six airbags mandatory in motor vehicles carrying eight passengers in India.