Approaches to Address Risk Factors for Road Traffic Crashes Discussed at UNITAR’s National Road Safety Workshop in New Delhi
22 - 23 August 2017, New Delhi, India - UNITAR in collaboration with Ministry of Road Transport and Highways of India, and with the support of Diageo and the Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE) conducted a two-day capacity building workshop on “Improving Road Safety and Transport Systems” in New Delhi on 22 and 23 August 2017. The workshop convened transport secretaries from Indian States, local authorities, road safety commissioners, representatives from academic institutions and NGOs, along with international experts on road safety.
Road traffic injuries from all causes claim more than 1.2 million lives each year with 90 percent of fatalities occurring in low and middle-income countries. In India, 1 road accident occurs every four minutes.
"Let us not treat road fatalities as statistics. With each death, a whole family is shattered.” Dr. Rohit Bajula, President of the Institute of Road Traffic Education, stressed during the inaugural ceremony.
Ms. Carolyn Panzer, Global Director of Alcohol in Society at Diageo plc, shared Diageo’s global approach to address road safety by working with governments and other partners to target specific issues, such as drink driving or excessive drinking, with programmes that try to change behaviour and reduce harm.
The workshop included sessions where road safety experts shared insights on strengthening road safety legislations, a multi-stakeholder approach to reduce drunk driving, the need for infrastructure planning and urban design, and case studies from other cities and countries such as Thailand, Korea, and Philippines.
The regional status and situation pertaining to road safety was provided by Ms. Thanattaporn Rasamit from the Transport Policy and Development Section of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). “Road crashes cause human tragedies every 40 seconds in the Asia-Pacific region. In the Asia-Pacific region, road traffic injuries are a leading cause of death and disability” Ms. Rasamit emphasized.
During the workshop, the Indian Road Safety Campaign 's 2017 college championship (iSAFE) was launched. The college championship is an annual competition among colleges of India, in which public awareness activities related to road safety take place over a period of 9 months. Colleges that make maximum impact will be awarded with cash prize at the end of the competition.
At the end of the workshop, the 98 workshop participants signed a board as a symbolic act and as a pledge to “Never Drink and Drive”. Students from the University of Delhi joined the pact and committed to spreading the message and to raising awareness among their fellow students on the dangers of drinking under the influence of alcohol and on other risk factors.
Photo 1: Carolyn Panzer, Global Director of Alcohol in Society, Diageo plc, sharing Diageo’s global approach to address road safety issues
Photo 2: Dignitaries and participants attending the road safety workshop in New Delhi
Photo 3: Workshop participants making the pledge “I Never Drink and Drive”