Environmental imperatives and safety requirements are two critical issues facing the automotive industry, worldwide. Indian Automobile Industry in the last decade has made significant progress on the environmental front by adopting stringent emission standards, and is progressively aligning technically with international safety standards.
Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR) came into force from 1989 and serious enforcement of regulations came into effect. Chapter V of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989 deals with construction, equipment and maintenance of vehicles and in addition to rules governing emission limits, there are several rules in this chapter requiring motor vehicles to comply with safety regulations.
Vehicles being manufactured in the country have to comply with relevant Indian Standards (IS) and Automotive Industry standards (AIS). Indian Standards (IS) have been issued since the late 1960s and these standards for Automotive Components were based on EEC/ISO/DIN/BSAU/FMVSS etc at that time.
Regulations are reviewed periodically by the Technical standing Committee on MCVR (CMVR-TSC).
States also have their State Motor Vehicle Rules
Since 2000 ECE Regulations have been used as basis for Indian regulations and since 2003, increased efforts are being made to technically align with ECE. Variance from ECE exists on formatting phraseology and administration related issues.
Alignment of Indian regulations (AIS/ BIS) with ECE is being attempted as per the broad roadmap drafted by SIAM.
In order to have a planned approach to introduction of advanced safety features, SIAM drew up a Road Map for Automobile Safety Standards. The Roadmap was prepared by the CMVR, Safety & Regulations Committee.
The current traffic conditions, driving habits, traffic density and road user behaviour necessitate that maximum safety be built into the vehicles. Progressive tightening of safety standards taking into account unique India requirements has been addressed by the Road Map with a view to reducing the impact of accidents and thereby improving safety of the vehicle occupants and vulnerable road users.
The Roadmap was presented to the Government in January 2002 which received an in-principle approval of the Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways. Based on discussions with all stakeholders, a roadmap has been finalized by the Ministry and work has commenced on the standards and notifications for the various stages.