India’s new safety ratings for passenger cars to start on Oct. 1

NEW DELHI, Aug 22 (Reuters) – India’s new safety rating system for passenger cars will be implemented from Oct. 1, the country’s Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said on Tuesday.

The world’s third-largest car market, India has some of the deadliest roads, where some 150,000 people die in accidents every year, according to government data.

The government said the new rating system will help car buyers to make an informed decision and encourage manufacturers to upgrade their safety standards.

Vehicle protection for adults and children, as well as the “fitment of safety assist technologies” will be tested and given star ratings from zero to five.

The programme will be voluntary and testing will cost about 6 million rupees ($72,237.11) compared with the 25 million rupees ($300,987.96) charged globally, officials said.

“This is going to increase the production and give more profits and more number of orders not just in the domestic market but also in the international market,” Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said at the launch of the system.

The government has already received requests to test and certify more than 30 car models of different companies, he added.

($1 = 83.0598 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Sakshi Dayal; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Barbara Lewis