(Bloomberg) -- India, home to the world’s deadliest roads, has pushed back by a year a rule that would have made it compulsory to install at least six airbags in cars as the auto industry continues to grapple with supply disruptions.
“Considering the global supply chain constraints being faced by the auto industry and its impact on the macroeconomic scenario, it has been decided to implement the proposal mandating a minimum of six airbags in passenger cars” from Oct. 1 next year, the nation’s Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said in a Twitter post Thursday. The previous deadline was Oct. 1 this year.
The delay is a setback for India’s road safety that was highlighted following tycoon Cyrus Mistry’s death in an accident after the car he was in hit a divider on a bridge. India, with the second-biggest road network globally, has only 1% of the world’s vehicles but accounts for 11% of all crash-related deaths.
Indian drivers are known for flouting road rules, jumping traffic lights and driving on the wrong side resulting in frequent accidents. India’s roads are narrow, congested and poorly maintained. Just 3% of roads are national highways, while 75% of highways have only two lanes and 40% are dirt roads, according to the University of Reading.
Gadkari said earlier this month that India wants to enforce road safety rules more stringently. The government is working on an alarm that will sound if passengers in the rear don’t wear their seat belts. It will also conduct a safety audit of all national highways, he said.
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