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Mega Road Safety Walkathon organised in Pune

Delhi NCR based NGO, Drive Smart Drive Safe organizes the establishment of numerous Drive Safe Clubs across schools, colleges, and corporate campuses in Pune. This initiative culminated in a 1 KM walkathon from SSPMS Ground through Mangalwar Peth station of Pune’s Maha Metro and back on Feb 14, resulting in a donation of 1.5 million safety steps. Attended by over 1350 citizens, the walkathon aimed to promote awareness, education, and positive change regarding road safety. It was held on the last day of the National Road Safety Month (15th Jan to 14th Feb), as announced by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

The Walkathon was inaugurated by a panel including Mr. Shrikant Borte, DCP, Traffic Police Pune, Rama Shankar Pandey, CEO Tata Green Batteries, Dr. Reji Mathai, Director, ARAI, Mr. Shyam Singh, Plant Head, Pune – Tata Motors Passenger Vehicle Ltd., Mr. Prasanna Patwardhan, President, BOCI, Mr. Pratyush Khare, Tata Motors, Dr. Parag Kalkar, VC, Savitribai Phule Pune University, and Ms. Rekha Magar, Chairperson-FICCI FLO, Pune Chapter. The campaign “India Against Road Crash, season 2024,” aims to increase awareness about road safety, promote responsible driving behavior, and reduce the number of road accidents. Achieving these goals hinges on collaboration among law enforcement agencies, community organizations, industries, and academic institutions, as proposed by the organisers. The event also featured a mass pledge of the 8 Point Road Safety Code of Conduct.

Various organizations such as ACMA, ASDC, ARAI, AISSMS, ASC, AITWA, BOCI, FICCI_FLO, CIRT, Pune City Traffic, Pune Metro, NDRF, Ranjangaon Industries Association, SAE India, and ASC are supporting the campaign. The campaign has partnerships with Tata Motors, Tata Autocomp, Tata Green Batteries, and Continental India. Additionally, volunteers from schools, colleges, running, biking, and walking groups have joined the initiative. One highlight of the event was to encourage young Indians to take selfies with members of the Safe Bikers club and the Helmet Man of India. This campaign aims to promote safer road behavior by advocating self-discipline, respect for other road users, defensive driving, adherence to road rules, and symbolizing commitment through a “step donation.”

“The most recent data on road accidents in India is concerning. With one person dying every four minutes and one accident occurring every minute, the situation is critical and cannot be ignored. It is crucial to understand that road safety is the responsibility of each and every individual. We need to involve the community in road safety initiatives by collaborating with schools, colleges, and local organizations to raise awareness. There are many reasons for road crash but one definite immediate solution is, Let’s Be The Change (Jab Hum Badlenge Toh Desh Badlega) ” said Mr. Rama Shankar Pandey, Chairman, Aftermarket Committee, ACMA and Chairman, Road Safety, FICCI, and Chief Executive Officer, Tata AutoComp GY Batteries Pvt. Ltd.

“While observing Nations having some of the safest Roads, Self-enforcement remains core principle of their success. Its well established that following Road Rules save lives. We will be safe with self-enforcement, our society and our country will be safe’ , Said Mr. Shyam Singh, Plant Head, Pune – Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles Ltd.

“Road safety is an extremely important topic that affects all of us, whether we are pedestrians or drivers. Our actions on the road have a significant impact on our own safety and the safety of others. It’s crucial that we prioritize safety over all other aspects and ensure a secure journey for everyone.” said Dr. Reji Mathai, Director ARAI.

Mr. Sashikant Borate, DCP Traffic Police, commended the team for their efforts in raising awareness about road safety amidst a concerning rise in road accidents. He expressed hope that the nation would unite to make roads safer for pedestrians. Stressing the importance of personal responsibility, he emphasized the need to adhere to traffic rules and cultivate a culture of responsible driving, empathy, and awareness.

The success of the event was evident as concerned citizens, civil society members, traffic police, and numerous road safety volunteers actively participated in the walkathon.

Also read: Road safety and Electric Vehicles

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