Diageo India has announced the launch of its Road Safety Capacity Building Program for the Indian Navy in Kochi together with the Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE). The first-of-its-kind program for the Indian Navy was inaugurated in the august presence of Mr. Somnath Ghosh, Chief of Commander, Indian Navy; and Dr. Rohit Baluja, President, Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE).
As per the World Health Organisation’s ‘Global status report on road safety 2018’, road accidents are a leading cause of deaths globally, claiming 1.35 million lives every year. According to industry reports, India accounts for 12.5% (over 1,45,000 fatalities a year) of global road accidents, with 1 road accident occurring every four minutes. Alarmingly, 72% victims involved in such road mishaps are between the age groups of 15-44 years with speeding, reckless driving and driving under the influence of alcohol being the top reasons accounting for 1.5% of road traffic accidents and 4.6% of fatalities. In 2017, Kochi reported over 2500 road accidents and over 130 fatalities according to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
Aimed at achieving higher levels of efficiency and effectiveness, the two-day program will be held on January 29-30, 2019 at Kochi Naval Base, and will provide capacity building training to Indian Navy, traffic police and transport officers in road accident investigation and traffic management. The training will include modules on ‘Codes & Standards of Traffic Control Devices’, ‘Forensic Science in Road Accident Investigation’, ‘Road Traffic Legislations (including newly legislated Motor Vehicles Driving Regulations)’ and ‘Applications of Traffic Engineering’.
Commenting on the initiative, Abanti Sankaranarayanan, Chief Strategy and Corporate Affairs Officer, Diageo India said, “It is an honour to extend our Road to Safety initiative to the Indian Navy who work selflessly in the service of the nation. At Diageo, we envision to act as catalysts in transforming Road Safety in India, working in collaboration with Central & State Governments, Enforcement agencies, not-for-profit organisations and media. The support of the Indian Navy will go a long way towards achieving this vision and creating a national movement around road safety.”
Dr. Rohit Baluja, President, Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE) said, “Indian armed forces demonstrate the very basis of discipline which needs to be witnessed on our roads today. It is indeed an honour and pleasure for IRTE to deliver an awareness programme on road safety to the sailors of the Indian Navy. The unflagging support of Diageo India towards supporting this endeavour needs to be complimented. This association demonstrates the successful example of the Public, Private, Government and Corporate partnership towards building a road-safe-India.”
In its fourth year, Diageo India and IRTE have been successfully running their ‘Road to Safety’ initiative to provide capacity building training to traffic police officials and educating commercial drivers such as truckers and bus drivers and university students on the dangers of drinking and driving. Until today, the program has covered 19 states and over 67 cities and trained over 6,173 traffic officials in road safety capacity-building program, educated 6,000 commercial vehicle drivers and over 6,000 university students.