Diageo and NDTV partner to launch ‘Road to Safety’

MUMBAI: Diageo and NDTV have joined hands to launch ‘Diageo-NDTV Road to Safety’ – a campaign aimed at addressing one of the biggest concerns for the Indian government and society today -the appalling state of road safety in our country. The campaign aims to make our roads safer and reduce the number of preventable accidents by encouraging citizens, specially the youth of India, to be more responsible behind the wheel.

Bollywood actor Karisma Kapoor,, veteran cricketer Anil Kumble and Karnataka Transport Minister Shri Ramalinga Reddy all came together to lend their support to the ‘Diageo-NDTV Road to Safety’ campaign and inspire people to take a pledge to Never Drink and Drive. Also present were Dr. Rohit Baluja, President, Institute of Road Traffic Education and Praveen Sood, IPS, Additional Director General of Police and Principal Secretary, Home, Karnataka.

Karisma Kapoor expressed her concerns on the state of road safety in the country and said, “I am proud to support the Road to Safety cause. So many lives are lost every year in India due to a casual approach and lack of knowledge about road safety. Initiatives like this will go a long way in educating people about road safety measures and in turn will help save lives.”

Anand Kripalu, Managing Director of United Spirits (a Diageo group company) said “Diageo and USL are taking the lead to persuade consumers to take responsibility for their actions and put safety first.  Diageo’s Road to Safety initiative is a yearlong program of partnership with government, NGOs and educational institutes to cause a paradigm shift in people’s approach to Road Safety in India.”

Union Minster for Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari, said that the Central government committed to improving national and state highways along with changing the law and bringing these in line with international standards. A new Motor Vehicle Act will be introduced in the next session of Parliament. He added that drivers and pedestrians have to take more responsibility for their actions and be aware of the rules of the road; and that suggestions from the public and the use of hi-tech equipment will also help in implementing a safer and healthier driving environment.

Last year, over 1,37,000 people lost their lives on Indian roads, a number that is shockingly more than the fatalities reported in all our wars put together. Averaging an accident every minute, and a fatality once every 4, Indian roads are some of the most dangerous in the world.

Launching the initiative Vikram Chandra, CEO, NDTV Group said, “The number of fatalities due to road mishaps is shocking and is a huge issue that we urgently need to address. NDTV has always been concerned about such issues and has tried to find practical solutions for these. We hope that with this campaign we are able to sensitize and educate citizens and create awareness about road safety.”

The campaign aims to educate and inspire citizens to action by drawing attention to critical issues including lack of safety awareness, public apathy towards accident victims and a widening gap between legislation and enforcement. This campaign will be launched across the country and will address city specific road safety issues.

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