India is one of the largest in population terms and is a developing country. It is the 6th largest country in terms of automobiles and the second largest in terms of road networks. Our country also being one of the most superior in terms of culture, economy, diversity, and many other aspects but has the least amount of infrastructure when it comes to road safety. Does this mean a lot of people are at risk? Yes. Can we find other ways to prevent this risk? Also yes. Despite the shortcomings of the infrastructural facilities in India, we can ensure safety as much as possible by making sure as pedestrians what we can do for our best and as drivers too. 

Why is it necessary to have pedestrian safety rules in India?

There is no set of rules to be followed by a pedestrian as such there are rules to be followed by a driver. Our country also being one of the biggest pedestrian population, has proved time and again a large number of road accidents sometimes caused by the driver or the pedestrians. Pedestrian accidents account for over 40% while 43% of drivers are responsible for road accidents. In this shocking and shattering loss of life, economists say an estimated 3% drop is suffered by the GDP every year. 

The Government has come up with initiatives to minimize fatal accidents and deaths. The Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill aims to improve the road user’s safety and also instils tougher laws for their behaviour while driving along with vehicle crash-worthiness and safety measures that ensure reducing road accidents and driver deaths. The National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project has taken up to test all vehicles and also to set up a state-of-the-art facility across the country to ensure the same. 

What is BNVSAP and how does it promotes Pedestrian Safety?

The new initiative called the Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program (BNVSAP) is to ensure all the crash safety features of the vehicle are tested before it is sold to the public. The test will include an offset front crash, rear and side impacts as well, in which the roles of airbags, Anti-lock braking systems, and seatbelts will become an important part of the test. In due course of time, stricter rules will be implemented for pedestrian safety, child lock safety, and whiplash protection. All vehicles released after October 1, 2019, have to undergo the BNVSAP test and it is mandatory that vehicles in the present and future must undergo these tests in order to ensure that the vehicle is safe for all. 

The prescribed speed for offset frontal crashing is 56 Km/h which is lower than the Global New Car Assessment program’s limit of 64 Km/h. The reason for the lower speed prescribed by the Government of India is to ensure that a developing country like India has lesser speeds in vehicles compared to developed countries. The initiative was welcomed by open hands as it served its purpose of ensuring each vehicle showcases its safety measures according to the standards set by the government. Now, each and every manufacturer must display and perform a BNVSAP test before they put their vehicles on the market for the public so that customers can now make an informed decision about the safety of each vehicle. 

Car companies are on par with the initiative as well. If we as the general public do not ensure if car manufacturers follow protocol, it would be dangerous for all, as supply follows demand, we must demand more safety features in vehicles in the future.

Also read : Types Of Transmission: DCT Vs AMT Vs CVT vs Manual