Experts at SIAM seminar debate new technologies for safer mobility in India

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 15 Jan 2020

The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) in association with Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Delhi Traffic Police (DTF) and Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA) organised a special seminar yesterday in New Delhi on the role of new technologies in building safer mobility solutions.

The seminar was conducted as a part of SIAM’s initiatives during the 31st National Road Safety week.  Deliberating upon multiple challenges pertaining to road safety, experts from policy making and executives, as well as healthcare, technology, and automotive industry discussed in unison, about various technological interventions that can make Indian roads safer.

The chief guest for the seminar was Taj Hassan, Special Commissioner of Police, Delhi Traffic Police and the guest of honour, Priyank Bharti, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. They were joined by  Rajesh Menon, Director General, SIAM; Anupam Shrivastava, President, Society for Automotive Fitness and Environment (SAFE), and  Vinnie Mehta, Director General, ACMA.

Speaking on the occasion, Taj Hasan, Special Commissioner of Police-Traffic, Delhi Traffic Police, said, “Delhi Police has deployed technology solutions such as installing traffic violation detection cameras for speed and red light jumping in around 100 places, which has proven to be a good deterrence.  But in order to scale this up further, we are working on ITMS project with the aim to cover 1,000 signals and 500 blinkers. These systems will be powered by artificial intelligence which will monitor signal timing as well. With the help of technological advancements, we are hopeful to achieve our objective of 10% year-on-year reduction in fatal accidents.”

While remarking about various road safety measures of the government,  Priyank Bharti, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, said, “The government is sensitive to all the issues that are being highlighted by various stakeholders. The government has introduced an important legislation in the form of Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act 2019. Contrary to popular belief, the rise in penalties is considering the time value of money since 1988, when the fines of Rs 100 to 300 were introduced. The aim for these measures is to reduce casualties on road and ensure a safer future. On January 16, we will have a National Road Safety Council meeting which will include transport ministers from all the states to deliberate upon the road safety challenges and hindrances we are facing in the implementation of the rules.”     

Highlighting SIAM’s efforts to promote road safety,  Rajesh Menon, Director General, SIAM said, “We are at the forefront of promoting road safety, and we are pleased to partner with Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and Delhi Traffic Police to achieve this objective. Towards the common goals, SIAM has launched the SAFE initiative under which we are working with various companies promoting road safety through a series of activities. We are aiming to spread awareness among 1 lakh students from all over India. Our refresher driver training programs for commercial and public vehicle drivers aims to reach out to 50,000 drivers across the country. We are also initiating the India Against Road Crash 2020 drive which will target 500,000 citizens from Wagah border to Kanyakumari.” 

Talking about the SIAM SAFE initiative, Mr Anupam Shrivastava, President, Society for Automotive Fitness & Environment (SAFE), said, “Traffic violations are one of the major reasons for road traffic accidents, with driving culture lacking in our country. SIAM’s SAFE initiative is committed towards supporting road safety measures of the Ministry of Road and Transport. We are working with student community, drivers, and general public for outreach and awareness. Our various initiatives focus on connecting with various stakeholders for road safety information, including various technologies enabled in our vehicles, and then disseminating the information to general public for larger awareness.”

Vinnie Mehta, Director General, ACMA, said “I would like to congratulate the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways for initiating National Road Safety Week, which over the past 10 years have galvanised into a revolution year on year, with people joining the movement.”

The thought-provoking sessions included discussions on Indian auto-industry’s contribution in making roads safer through various technological interventions; importance of auto-component safety standards; and implementing new technology for enhancing health and trauma care resources. The sessions covered many subjects concerning with road safety from latest technologies such as light guide technology, modern tyre technology, and adoption of safety features, to matters concerning healthcare for accident victims.

The event saw participation from various school students, OEMs and other officials. Presentations on Indian vehicular standards, health-care resources were made by senior officials from automobile and healthcare industry. There was a special speech given by an accident victim survivor Mr Nuruddin, peer mentor, Head Injury Foundation.

With a staggering 460,000 accidents reported in 2018 claiming over 150,000 lives, road safety is a major public health and policy concern in India. Ranking first amongst 199 countries, India witnesses almost 11 percent of accident-related deaths in the world.