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United Spirits and NDTV’s ‘Road to Safety’ campaign is back

Minister of Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari lends his support to the cause

January 15, 2016:

Road-to-SafetyAfter a successful launch, ‘United Spirits-NDTV Road to Safety’, a Diageo initiative returns in its second year to address one of the biggest concerns for the Indian government and society today -the appalling state of road safety in our country.  Last year, to make India’s roads safer, a 7-point road safety agenda was presented to the government. The agenda covered a lot of aspects ranging from the laws that need amendment to the traffic police force that needs training.

This year too, the campaign attempts to address this issue by encouraging citizens to take a pledge to Never Drink and Drive. As a part of this initiative, in conjunction with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways a special talk show was hosted with the Honorable Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari at the Gateway of India, Mumbai.

Gadkari stressed on the importance of making airbags mandatory in every type of car. It is the primary duty of the government to establish measures to protect the life of people irrespective of caste or creed. He further highlighted the significance of having a scientific process of issuing licenses. 30% of driving licenses are bogus. He promised to open 3000 centers in the country for driving and fitness measurement in order to procure those licenses He also requested people to identify accident prone areas on highways and report them on the government website. There are a total of 726 accident and black spots in the country. The government is investing 11,000 crores to improve the condition of these spots and working in the right direction to make Indian roads safer.

In its second season, United Spirits-NDTV Road to Safety, a Diageo Initiative, a social campaign attempts to make our roads safer and reduce the number of ‘preventable accidents’ by encouraging citizens to demonstrate more responsible behavior behind the wheel. While lack of awareness, bad road designs, poor maintenance of roads is definitely a part of the problem, a majority of the accidents are a result of drunken driving too.

This year, the event was attended by some of the country's leading experts, policy makers, and NGO's to highlight local issues, agendas and recommendations for the road ahead.

Speaking about this landmark initiative, Abanti Sankaranarayanan, Business Head – Luxury Vertical and Corporate Relations, United Spirits Ltd., said “The United Spirits-Diageo ‘Road to Safety’ initiative aims to create the necessary impact to address the abysmal state of road safety in our country. In collaboration with local and national partners - the government, civil society, individuals, families, and the industry; we aim to take Phase-II of the programme to greater heights by encouraging more people to drink responsibly and put safety first.”

Indian roads are the most dangerous in the world, given that on an average, there is an accident every minute, and a fatality once every four minutes. Over 10 lakh Indians have lost their lives in road accidents in the last 10 years, and road traffic injuries are a leading cause of death for young people aged 15-29 years. This makes road safety one of the biggest concerns for the Indian government and society today, impacting each and every one of us.

The campaign is now in its second edition, and attempts to address this issue by encouraging citizens to take a pledge to Never Drink and Drive. We are also working on charting out a roadmap to a future where every life is valued by actively engaging with the country’s leading experts, policy makers, NGOs and activists to highlight local issues, agendas and recommendations.

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Rupal Gune


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