Society for Automotive Fitness & Environment (SAFE), a SIAM initiative in association with Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Transport Department, Government of Karnataka and All India Federation of Motor Vehicle Department organised its annual convention today in Bangalore. This year’s theme set the thrust on ‘’Road Safety: Bringing Policy & Practice Together’’ to share the best practices adopted by government and private organisation in the area of vehicular safety, technology innovations and enforcement for enhancing road safety. With memberships from Industry, Government, Testing Agencies, and NGOs, SAFE works to generate awareness among the various stakeholders regarding Inspection & Certification of in-use vehicles which would lead to safe vehicles and cleaner environment.

The convention aimed at addressing rising concerns of road fatalities, with traffic collisions on Indian roads numbered among the highest in the world. According to a National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report, more than 1,35,000 traffic collision-related deaths occur in India every year. The International Road Federation (IRF) in 2012 estimated that traffic collision results in an annual monetary loss of $20 billion (short scale) in India. This figure includes expenses associated with the accident victim, property damage and administration expenses.

The inaugural session was addressed by Vikram S Kiroloskar, President, SIAM along with P N Sreenivasachary, Principal Secretary, Transport, Government of Karnataka, Amaranarayana K, Transport Commissioner, Government of Karnataka; S V Suderson, President, SAFE and Dr Venkat Srinivas, Vice President, SAFE.

Speaking at the convention, Suderson, said, ‘The issue of road safety is very crucial in India. Loss of life is not only huge in terms of numbers, but majority of people affected are from the younger age brackets. We have a long way to go before our roads become safe for all users. Understanding the complex problems is the first step. Physical and mental health of motorists, their vehicle condition and pedestrians’ behavior are some of the key factors. We need to address each of these stakeholders to raise the overall standard of road safety.”

The convention went on to hold three focused sessions which threw light on various aspects related to road safety. The first session discussed best practices and policies to enhance road safety having presentations from the Transport and Traffic Police Department; Government of Karnataka presented a case for better policies and practices in the area of road safety followed by presentation on Adoption of safety practices by Indian Automotive sector, by Volvo. The session concluded with an overview on safety policies by All India Federation of Motor Vehicle Department.

The second session focused on International and National Learning’s on Vehicular Safety and Technology innovations. This comprised of insightful contributions by International Motorcycle Manufacturer Association that gave an overview of global approaches for safer Motorcycling, followed by a presentation on global practices for reduction of road fatalities by Honda Motor Co. Ltd, Japan. The session closed with addresses on new safety technologies and innovations in Indian automobiles sector by Nissan and Bosch respectively.

The final session comprised of a panel discussion moderated by Vishnu Mathur, Director General, SIAM with representatives from the Transport Department of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Institute of Driving & Traffic Research and KPIT Cummins. The panelists shared their thought on implementation of policy and practices in the area.

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