New Delhi: Society of Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) kick-starts the Road Safety Week campaign today at India Gate. This year’s event on the theme “Sadak Suraksha – Jeevan Raksha” has been organized in association with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India (MoRTH) and Delhi Traffic Police.
The day started off with Delhi traffic police Walkathon with 1000 numbers of students at India gate and a street theatre on road safety. Following that was the inauguration ceremony of National Road Safety Week which commemorated 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Few initiatives by different stakeholders have been announced in the program.
SIAM also launched the Indian Automobile Industry’s initiative of declaring 2019-2020 as National Road Safety Year in presence of Mr. Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India and Mrs. Sushma Swaraj, Hon’ble Minister of External Affairs of India. After the launch of SIAM Initiative of 2019-2020 as National Road Safety Year for Indian Automobile Industry, the Hon’ble Ministers flagged off a motor rally to commemorate 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Supported by Kanishka Sports and Mahindra and Mahindra, the rally starting from Rajghat is scheduled to conclude in 22 days covering 7250 kilometers.
On this occasion, Mr. Sugato Sen, Deputy Director General, SIAM said, ‘’There has been several measures taken to bring down the rate of road fatalities in India but yet, there has been not much of improvement. In order to change the bleak picture of road safety in our country, we aim to identify the steps and areas which are really helping in bringing down the number of road fatalities and concentrate on those. SIAM along with its members would be observing 2019-2020 as National Road Safety Year and will try to bring some best practices which can bring down the fatalities rate on our roads.”
After taking the road safety pledge, Shri. Nitin Gadkari, said “We are connecting the nation through tunnels, bridges, roads and highways, but our main target is to bring down the death count happening because of road accidents. Approx 1.5 lakh people die in nearly 5 lakh road accidents every year in India. Around 48% of these fatalities happen to be in the age bracket between 18 and 35years. We aim to drastically cut down the figures and change this scenario. We are taking various initiatives including awareness campaigns like this, identifying black spots of accidents and seeking people’s co-operation. I would appeal to everyone to participate in this road safety initiative.”
“It’s important to follow Gandhiji’s principles of peace, patience and tolerance in the case of road safety as well. Else whatever steps are taken or rules created, the situation of road rage, careless driving and accident scenarios won’t change.” Said, Smt. Sushma Swaraj.
The week long initiative will have Road Safety Driver Training, Health & Eye Check-up Camps for Drivers at 20 Truckers Hub in India, Road Safety workshop organised by the Ministry in every city participating in the event along with the other programs. A Seminar on Emerging Trends of Road Safety supported by the secretary of MoRTH and special commissioner of police has also been organized at India Habitat Centre which aims to provide training, technical and brainstorming sessions to the people. Besides ten lakh people will be holding hands together to convey the road safety message during the National Road Safety Week.