'Auto-makers in India ignoring safety standards'

New Delhi, May 15 (IANS) Auto-makers in India are ignoring safety standards in a bid to meet higher mileage, said an official Thursday.

"Recent move by the MoRTH (ministry of road transport and highways) and ministry of industry to introduce the ABS brakes in two-wheelers was shunned by the two-wheeler manufacturers, asking for a couple of more years to introduce, which is very saddening," said Vijay Chibber, secretary MoRTH, addressing a seminar on 'Role of Corporates in Road Safety'.

"The implementation of the road safety law has become difficult in some places because of the intervention of so many stakeholders," Chibber said, adding that recently most of the entry level cars have failed the crash test.

The day-long seminar was organised at the India International Centre by Geneva-based International Road Federation (IRF).

"In a bid to ensure vehicle safety, a car crash test facility will come up by end of the current financial year. The NCERT will also add road safety in school curriculum in the next academic session," Chibber said. NCERT is the National Council for Educational Research and Training, which prepares school curricula in the country.

According to IRF, India has the highest incidence of road accidents in the world and accounts for 10 percent of the total 1.3 million accident worldwide despite having only one percent of the world's vehicle population.

Chibber said several measures towards improving road safety needs to be taken, including amendment in the Motor Vehicle Act, improvements in condition of roads, audits in all stages of road construction, besides identification and filling of black spots which account for almost 90 percent of accidents in India.