In a bid to further spread awareness about road safety, both for motorists and pedestrians, the Indian automotive industry and an NGO – ‘Drive Smart, Drive Safe’ – are organising a 250km walkathon from Delhi to Chandigarh during Road Safety Week 2018 (April 23-29).
As is known, India has one of the worst road safety records in the world. Millions drive on roads in the country and nearly 400 never return home each day. In 2016, statistics from the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) revealed that there were 1,317 accidents and 413 deaths on Indian roads each day. Road deaths are the biggest cause of unnatural deaths in India and they include pedestrians, who constitute a significant share of these fatalities.
Worldwide, the total number of road traffic deaths remains unacceptably high at 1.24 million per year. Only 28 countries, covering 7 percent of the world’s population, have comprehensive road safety laws on five key risk factors: drinking and driving, speeding, and failing to use motorcycle helmets, seatbelts, and child restraints.
Safer roads can also help reduce accidents and deaths
‘Drive Smart, Drive Safe’, an NGO for road safety, supported by Hella, ACMA, SIAM, FICCI , CII-Yi, Arrive Safe NGO and Punjab Police, is organising the 250km relay walkathon from Delhi to Chandigarh.
The mega walkathon will be executed by Hella India employees in pairs – where they walk for 5km at a stretch and pass the baton to the next pair and so on – involving and engaging many safety warriors on the go. The walkers will have a live camera and a dashboard-mounted camera on a vehicle behind the walker will record the difficulties of walking on Indian roads. The rally will use service lanes wherever available.
The walkathon, according to the organisers, is a step towards fighting a long battle to make India safer for pedestrians. While designing and executing road construction projects in cities and highways, pedestrian safety has never been a priority. The NGO says, “Our objective is to run for awareness of the same, but also capture live video images as evidence of our walking and difficulties on the way .This real-world evidence will be used to create awareness about necessity of seamless walking zones for pedestrians, else we will continue to lose them in road accidents. This is a historical step in the journey of making India free from all avoidable road deaths.”
The event is to be flagged off from India Gate in Delhi on April 23 at 5am. The mega walkathon will conclude at Zirakpur, near Chandigarh, on April 27, 2018. Autocar Professional is the media partner for the event.
Also read: Top industry experts to join Autocar Professional global webinar on safety on May 8. Register for it today