In an attempt to make highways safer,the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has decided to make anti-lock braking system or ABS mandatory for all new commercial vehicles hitting the road from 2014.
A notification will be issued by us in two months time and the norms will be made mandatory in a year from then. However,this rule will not apply for the vehicles already plying on the roads, said a senior road transport ministry official.
ABS will be crucial in bringing down accidents on the highway as it offers improved vehicle control and decreases stopping distances on dry and slippery road surfaces.
Vehicle manufacturers had been opposing the move to install ABS in commercial vehicles as its installation is a costly affair.
Vehicle manufactures did not like the idea of installing ABS due to high cost. However,that was overruled when Auto Component Manufactures Association of India (ACMA) put the cost at Rs 15,000 and gave a guarantee on it, said the official.
ACMA also said that the installation cost would further come down to Rs 10,000,once the volume increase, the official added.
Road accidents are one of the biggest reasons for deaths in India. In 2011,around 390 lives were lost daily due to accidents on Indian roads and highways.
About 17 lives were lost every hour in 2011 an increase from 15 in 2010. The ministry expects ABS to go a long way in saving lives on the highways.
We have not yet made it mandatory for existing vehicles to get ABS installed but it will be looked in the future. Not only that we can also look into making ABS mandatory for passenger vehicles too, said the official.