If you are planning to install a crash guard or a bull bar to give your vehicle a stylish look. Be aware as the Indian government has banned the use of accessories. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has made it mandatory for all Indian citizens to abide by the rule and failing to implement it would attract a fine since 2017.
The latest in a series of reforms introduced by the Centre is to reduce road accidents. Crash guards or bull bars are fitted on cars, SUV mostly in the front end on the chassis or the frame to shield it from damage. Even though it is banned under a couple of Motor Vehicle Act Sections, many owners continue to get bull bars, sun films, and other accessories to their vehicles.
Despite directives and circulars from the Union Government and State Governments, many such fittings can still be seen on many vehicles. The bullbars if fitted on a vehicle will not only fail to deploy and secure the occupants of the vehicle from injuries, but it also interferes with the vehicle’s vital shock absorption systems designed and placed on the vehicle's crumple zone (front part). Due to such safety concerns, the Centre had asked the States to implement the ban and take strict action against defaulters who do not comply with the rule.
Recently the Transport Department officials from Tamil Nadu have once again revived their efforts to stop vehicles from using such fittings. They have initiated a crackdown on cars fitted with bull bars and have seized, fined several cars as part of this exercise.
Tamil Nadu Transport officials and the police are now not only stopping cars, but also removing the bars on the spot and fining the owners for getting their vehicles with such illegal accessories. A recent video of one such exercise has surfaced online wherein the police stop a Toyota Innova fitted with a bull bar in the front.
According to The Hindu report, the officials have so far have removed bull bars from 33 vehicles and a fine of Rs 6,000 was collected from close to 12 car owners. Others were asked to pay the fine at RTO’s.
The reasons why bull bars are unsafe are:
Bull bars can prevent the airbags from deploying in case of a collision. As these fittings cover the sensors susceptible to a direct hit which in turn do not allow air bag sensors to detect the collision and deploy them.
These also hamper the shock absorption features of the vehicle as each is designed to absorb a maximum amount of shock in an event of a crash. While fitting it on the bumpers or bolted to the chassis, it may save the engine and other parts from a low-impact. However, it would not protect the occupants of the vehicle during high impact crashes.
Apart from having an adverse effect on the aerodynamics of a vehicle, bull bars also compromise stability and fuel efficiency as well. They also put the lives of the occupants of the vehicle at risk and they can cause serious injuries to pedestrians.