A national programme to enhance Road Safety in India launched by Hon. Shri Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways

Prembabu Sharma

The ‘Road to Safety” programme was initiated by the Diageo India Foundation and the Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE) to enhance road safety in India. ‘Road to Safety’ includes a capacity building programme to train traffic police officers in scientific traffic management principles in order to improve road safety through better traffic management and strategic enforcement. This Initiative, sponsored by Diageo India Foundation, will be organised and conducted by the IRTE and partnered by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India and the International Road Federation. This path breaking project was launched by Hon. Shri Nitin Gadkari, Union minister for Road Transport & Highways in the presence of Shri Vijay Chhibber, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways.

From R-L- Vijay Chhibber, Abanti Sankaranarayanan, Nitin Gadkari, Dr. Rohit Baluja
Diageo is committed to preventing the harmful use of alcohol and has supported hundreds of creative and effective programmes across the world to raise awareness, change attitudes and shift behaviour.

Speaking on the occasion, Abanti Sankaranarayanan, Managing Director, Diageo India representing the Diageo India Foundation said, “The “Road to Safety”programmefocuses on preventing drink driving, underage drinkingand excessive drinking in India. We believe that efforts to reduce the misuse ofalcohol are most effective when government, civil society, individuals andfamilies, as well as the industry work together. This is a national programme that will be implemented in 30 cities in India and includes training and capacity building of enforcement agencies like the traffic police; distribution of high quality Breath Alcohol Analyzers; training drivers of commercial vehicles such as school bus, truck and auto rickshaw drivers; and educating university students on the dangers of underage drinking.”

Shri Nitin Gadkari, Union minister for Road Transport & Highways;
Abanti Sankaranarayanan, Managing Director, Diageo India
Known for his revolutionary work in road safety, Dr. Rohit Baluja, President, IRTE said “Road to Safety is a great example of responsible corporates joining hands with the development sector and the government to address key social issues. Diageo’s commitment to address the harmful use of alcohol in India, and IRTE’s mandate to develop a positive road user culture in the country has made them ideal partners to come together for such a project.”

Road Safety has become a matter of utmost concern for India with 1,40,000 fatalities annually. Statistics reveal that road traffic injuries are the eighth leading cause of deaths globally claiming more than 1.24 million lives annually; they are the top cause of death for young people aged 15-29 (WHO, 2013). Eighty per cent of road traffic deaths occur in middle-income countries, which account for 72% of the world’s population.

‘Road to Safety’is a holistic, nation-wide programmecomprising:
1. Training and capacity building of enforcement agencies (traffic police)
2. Distribution of Breath Alcohol Analyzers
3. Commercial vehicle driver training
4. University Students Alcohol Education Programme