USL Diageo And Essar Oil Collaborate To Make Highways Safer
Mumbai: India’s highways are some of the most dangerous in the world. In 2015, some 51,204 people lost their lives on national highways while 40,863 people died on state highways. This high rate of accidents and fatalities are generally blamed on over speeding, drink driving, bad road behaviour and poorly planned roads.
Taking cognisance of this, United Spirits (USL), a Diageo Group Company and Essar Oil Limited announced a year-long collaboration to create awareness and drive definitive behaviour change, particularly among commercial vehicles and truck drivers through a combination of on-ground at the point of sale (petrol pumps), as well as digital, activity.
With plans to leverage Essar’s 3200 outlet and petrol pumps across the country as points of contact with drivers, the campaign plans to raise awareness about various aspects of road safety, particularly drink driving and train people as first responders to help and assist road crash victims. This is being done with the support of Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE) and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
Road accidents in India amount to an annual economic loss of $58 billion, according to the United Nations and what is worrying is that these numbers have seen an upward trend each year. India’s network of highways witnesses around 56.4 per cent of these accidents.
Additionally, accidents that take place on highways tend to be more serious in nature due to the fact that vehicles are generally moving at high speeds and a lot these are heavy vehicles. The propensity to drink and drive as well does not help matters. This is something that the Supreme Court had acknowledged as a menace in its order calling for the closure of all liquor shops situated 500 meters from the highways by April 1, 2017.
“Over the last three years, our signature Road to Safety initiative has worked with governments, NGOs and universities, achieving major milestones as a result of these strong partnerships. Essar Oil’s strong network and high vehicular footfall is an opportunity to further amplify our common cause of safer roads and initiate large-scale behaviour shifts,” said Anand Kripalu, Managing Director and CEO, United Spirits, speaking about the Initiative.
Previously, USL-Diageo had trained 4,000 police officials on traffic regulations, enforcement of drink driving offences and the correct usage of breathalysers, and educated 5,000 drivers of commercial vehicles on the dangers of drink driving.