Projects

In the normal process of identification of projects, PJAWS discovered that India holds the dubious distinction of registering the highest number of road accidents in the world. According to the experts at the National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NTPRC) the number of road accidents in India is three times higher than that prevailing in developed countries. The number of accidents for 1000 vehicles in India is as high as 35 while the figure ranges from 4 to 10 in developed countries.

Keeping in view this alarming situation, PJAWS decided to undertake a project – BringingDown Deaths and Disabilities on Indian roads.

Shri S.C.Srivastava, President, PJAWS made the following presentation to Dr. Sudhir Krishna, Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India on 31st December 2013.

"Bringing Down Deaths and Disabilities on Urban Roads"

OBJECTIVE:
The main objective of the project is to bring down deaths and disabilities on urban roads.

STATISTICS:
India holds the distinction of registering the highest number of road accidents in the world according to World Bank Report which is increasing at an alarming rate of more than 8% annually. It is highest in the world and more than China.

China has for the past four years been bringing down its road accident figures by an annual average of 10.8 per cent; India’s figures may even increase further if this problem is not tackledseriously by all concerned.Everyday more than 400 people die and 1500 plus become disables on Indian roads.It is to be noted that more than 70% accidents are taking place on urban roads

CAUSES:
Road accidents take place broadly due to:

  • Infrastructural Deficiency
  • Condition of vehicles
  • Human Error i.e. the DRIVER
  • 90% accidents take place in India due to 'Human Error' that is the Driver. Only 10% accidents are due to Infrastructural Deficiency and Condition of vehicles.

INVESTMENTS:
Millions have been invested in developing infrastructure but no investment has been made in last 65 years in training and educating drivers which is the established main cause of road accidents in India today.

STUDY OF THE PROBLEM:
For more than two years S.C.Srivastava, President, Progressive Journalists and Writers Society(PJAWS) who spent more than three decades abroad, ably supported by M.C. Verma IAS, Former Chairman, Delhi Traffic & Transport Group, UNDP/ILO Advisor undertook thorough study of the problems of Road Accidents and come up with a scientific strategy to solve the problems. This was presented to B. I. Singal, Director-General, Institute of Urban Transport (IUT).

PJAWS and IUT then decided to join hands and undertake the project – 'BRINGING DOWN DEATHS & DISABILITIES ON URBAN ROADS' under direct supervision of the MINISTRY OF URBAN DEVELOPMENT as majority of the accidents are taking place on urban roads.

FACTS:
Driving Licence can be obtained without any test.
In 65 years, no document was prepared to teach a driver the driving technique, rules and regulations.
Driving schools are ill-equipped; no training material and no trained instructors.
Testing Officers at Regional Transport Offices, have hardly any knowledge of driving technique,rules and regulations

In view of above, S.C.Srivastava compiled a Driving Book known as Driving Guide taking intoaccount the practices of Australia, U.K, Canada, New Zealand and India.

REVIEW OF DRIVING GUIDE:
The Driving Guide, for obtaining authentication from established institutions, was sent by IUT to 16 agencies/experts for comments including World Bank and Mr. A Jain former head of PMU for GEF SUTP project.It is noted from the comments of Experts received that there is unanimity of view regarding the ‘Driving Guide’ which covers broadly knowledge that a good driver needs to possess to become a responsible and safe Driver. Both CIRT and Mr. Jain have lauded the unique questionnaire comprising 106 questions for testing the driver's skill.

Out of nearly 25 comments received which hardly constituted 5% of the content of the Guide, PJAWS have modified the guide and incorporated 20 comments. The remaining 5 comments relate to the structure that does not affect the content of the Driving Guide but the presentation.

PROJECT:
We have taken into consideration all the needs of a good Driver, the prevailing environment in India and accordingly designed the project – 'Bringing down Deaths and Disabilities on Urban Roads' which broadly covers:-

  • Creating Awareness,
  • Education,
  • Practical training,
  • Pre-Certification Testing and Supervision

IMPLEMENTATION GUIDELINE:
PJAWS & IUT
have taken due care in designing the strategy that would not encroach the jurisdiction of other Ministries but achieve the objective of training the drivers. However we would keep on informing our plans to Ministry of Transport and Transport Commissioners of all states soliciting their support. Involvement of Transport Commissioners of UP, Haryana and Rajasthan for NCR at this stage will be very useful.

CREATING AWARENESS:

  • Media discussions / clippings on prominent national channels on regular basis.
  • Organizing a Marathon annually in all big cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai,Bangalore,Kolkata, & Hyderabad.
  • Organizing Rallies Six monthly in cities having more than 10,00,000 population
  • Organizing regular debates, Painting Competition etc. in schools and colleges with attractive running trophies and awards
  • Appeal to all Cinema Owners to show ‘Documentaries on Driving’ before showing films
  • Appeal to all Hospitals and Trauma Centers to educate patients and provide them with theDriving Guide
  • Appeal to all Insurance Companies to develop programmes to reduce deaths anddisabilities related to Traffic
  • Putting Driving Guide in the KITS of all the vehicles sold
  • All the ad–campaigns of Automobile & Component manufacturers should includereference in some form to acquiring Driving Knowledge
  • All the registered garages to promote Driving Guide & encourage clients to read

Education – Training

  • All the schools should teach Driving Guide to their students from Class VIII
  • All the existing Driving Schools Instructors are to be trained
  • Thus trained Driving School Instructors will teach Learner Drivers
  • All the Driving License Issuing Officials are to be trained.
  • All traffic police officials, junior and senior are to be given training
  • special coaching and testing to be organized for current drivers who obtained Driving License without any knowledge of Driving Technique, Rules and Regulations. This will be a type of “Refresher Course” which should be achieved in five years.
  • Special attention is to be given to Commercial Drivers who should be put to Refresher Course as early as possible.
  • A few Model Schools will have to be established in all the cities; a minimum of one Model School per one lakh population and at least ten in NCR and other big cities are envisaged.
Let us remember that a few thousand Learner Drivers are to be trained annually in each big city including NCR.

Target:
Let us fix a target of establishing and operating all the proposed Model Driving Schools in the country in eighteen to twenty four months

Observation:
We in India give more importance to Physical Driving whereas more importance should be given to learning Driving Technique, Rules and Regulations.

Testing:
Testing Involves Theory and Practical Testing. We suggest that Ministry of Urban Development should concentrate on 'Theory' only for Pre-Testing Certification. Let practical testing and issuing of Driving Licence be left to the Ministry of Transport. We should develop or improve the software so that Theory Testing is totally computerized eliminating human participation and manipulation.

Execution Strategy A) Our Strategy is based on CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and would not need any financial assistance immediately from Ministry of Urban Development for starting the project that does not mean that Ministry of Urban Development should not get involved financially on long term basis.

B) The following institutions should be involved keeping in view CSR

  • SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers)
  • SAFE (Society for Automotive Fitness & Environment)
  • ASDC (Automotive Skills Development Council)
  • NSDC (National Skills Development Corporation)
  • PCRA (Petroleum Conservation Research Association)
  • IBAI (Insurance Brokers Association of India)
  • IIS (Indian Insurance Society) or Insurance companies involved with auto industry.
  • Auto Component Manufacturers Associations
  • Any other organization associated (Directly or indirectly) with Transport / Auto industry

C) A high power committee should be formed if we wish to achieve success comprising President/Chairman of above institutions, President and Advisors of PJAWS and DG IUT under the Chairmanship of Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development for executing the project. Inclusion of Transport Commissioners of U.P, Haryana & Rajasthan will give right strength to the committee for NCR project.
D) PJAWS after taking inputs from all the members of the committee regarding awareness, education and training programmes for all types of drivers as broadly defined here above, will prepare a more comprehensive execution plan to achieve our objectives.

Conclusion:
We will have to inculcate values of life in drivers by imparting, through education and training, a sound knowledge of Driving Skills and Traffic Rules & Regulations so that a sense of responsibility becomes strong and appreciative of values of life. We cannot totally blame the present reckless and irresponsible drivers in the absence of appropriate Driving Schools and non-availability of proper documents or guidelines for acquiring knowledge for safe and responsible driving.

We would like to conclude that Knowledge brings awareness; awareness will bring a change in the attitude towards negligence, recklessness, road rage and irresponsible driving and if the strategy suggested here above and the responsibilities assigned to public and private sectors is fulfilled by each sector, we would within a very short period achieve our objective of saving 10,000 - 20,000 lives every year in additions to bringing down the number of disables by 20,000 – 30,000 in spite of infrastructural deficiencies.

Let us note that by the time this presentation will be over, at least one member of a family somewhere in India must be on the way to cremation/burial ground as one fatality takes place every four (4) minutes and six to seven families will be rushing to hospitals for injuries.

Let us pledge today to act & StopArguing
on figures and on sharing of responsibilities

History will NEVER PARDON us for the insensitivity towards
fatalities & disabilities on roads for more than 60 YEARS