According to the Chairman of the National Council for Road Safety Dr. Sisira Kodagoda said when traveling in small vehicles the lives of passengers is in danger in the event of an accident. Therefore, it is mandatory to have air bags in these vehicles and vehicles without air bags have been banned.
Similarly, local air bag manufacturers do not guarantee the air bags they install, hence the law is applicable, he said.
Therefore, in future vehicles without air bags such as Maruti, Alto, Tata Nano, Bajaj Qute and Dimo Batta vehicle dealers will be severely dealt with, the National Council for Road Safety stated.
The agents for Maruti and Alto cars is Associated Motorways (AMW) and these vehicles are the highest selling motorcars in the country.
So far AMW has a large stock of these cars which were imported at their vehicle yards.
An official at the Motor Traffic Department said that over 25,000 vehicles are being registered annually.
In addition, the Tata Nano and mini trucks such as Ace Zip, Ace and Super Ace do not have air bags, but large quantities of these vehicles have been imported to the country.
Dimo Batta brakes..
Dimo Lanka imports these small lorries and around 10,000 of the Dimo Batta vehicles are registered annually.
Expressing his views on the Dimo Batta vehicles, Dr. Kodagota said that these Dimo Batta lorries should definitely have ABS brakes. He added that import of vehicles without ABS brakes has been banned and while a six month grace period has been granted, if such vehicles without ABS brakes are imported the Import Control Board should take responsibility.
Air Bag test
Expressing his views on the air bags Dr. Kodagoda said all air bags in imported vehicles are subjected to air bag testing. “These air bags are tested three times prior to being fitted. The vehicle is driven at a speed of around 80 MPH and crashed into a rubber block to test the air bags. This is referred to as the crash test. Now what many vehicle owners do is purchase the air bags from Panchikawatte and fit them without even knowing if they work properly. By the time they find out if the air bags are working properly or not, the driver would be dead. The air bags should be a practical product, but there is no place in Sri Lanka that does the crash test. Therefore, the locally assembled air bags have no guarantee,” he added.
Complaints for no air bags - TEL : 0112687105
If any dealer is engaged in selling vehicles without air bags complaints could be lodged to 0112687105 and action would be taken against such traders.