In the ongoing session of the Parliament, Nitin Gadkari, minister of Road Transport and Highways, expressed the government’s intention to introduce new regulations for tyre manufactures in the country as a way to help improve overall tyre quality and prevent road accidents.
"We are considering making it mandatory for tyre manufacturers to mix silicon with rubber in tyres and fill them with nitrogen instead of normal air," said Gadkari, during the Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha recently, as per a PTI report.
It is believed that mixing silicon with rubber improves tyre quality and filling them with nitrogen helps maintain pressure better. This can reduce chances of tyres bursting due to excessive heat and prevent road accidents. However, it is worth pointing out that any gains from filling nitrogen are marginal at best and are no substitute for proper tyre, especially ensuring the correct tread depth.
If formalised, this could be another in a string of regulations introduced to improve the appalling state of road safety in the country, which resulted in 1,47,913 fatalities on the Indian roads in 2017. Already in this calendar year, ABS has become mandatory starting April 1; while July 1 saw new safety norms – which mandated the fitment of all cars with a driver's side airbag, rear parking sensors, front seat-belt reminder and a high-speed alert system – kick in.
From October 2019, compliance with crash-test regulations will become mandatory while pedestrian safety norms will come into effect from next year. There are also talks of making electronic stability control (ESC) and autonomous emergency braking (AEB) compulsory, starting from 2022.
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