Road accidents cost India 2.5% of GDP annually: NIMHANS director at Ride Safe India campaign

The campaign included a comprehensive awareness discussion highlighting how helmets significantly mitigate road risks and save lives and the distribution of helmets to people from various backgrounds.
Home Minister flagging off a bike rally
Home Minister flagging off a bike rally(Photo | Express)

BENGALURU: The New Indian Express, in collaboration with Hero MotoCorp, inaugurated the ‘Ride Safe India campaign’ to promote road safety and highlight the importance of helmets. The campaign aims to prevent major traffic injuries, which are the 12th leading cause of death in the country across all age groups.

The initiative seeks to shift the perception of helmets from a mere compliance and legal requirement to essential safety gear that can prevent a majority of road accidents.

During the campaign, helmets were distributed to BBMP Marshals, police personnel, gig workers, and people from various backgrounds. Beyond distribution, the event included a comprehensive awareness discussion highlighting how helmets significantly mitigate road risks and save lives.

The event began with a comprehensive discussion on road safety, featuring key speakers including Home Minister G. Parameshwara, City Police Commissioner B. Dayananda, Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy, Director of NIMHANS Pratima Murthy, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) M.N. Anucheth, Additional Commissioner of Transport Purushottam, and MLA Arshad Rizwan.

“The mindset of some people is that they think more about how to avoid getting caught by the police, instead of following traffic rules. If we look at the road accident statistics, we find that the number of accidents caused by educated people is high compared to the uneducated,” Home Minister Dr. G. Parameshwara said. He also added that the driving license test should be made much stricter to ensure that only those who can drive will get a license.

Home Minister flagging off a bike rally
TNIE-Hero MotoCorp road safety campaign promotes helmet usage

NIMHANS Director Dr Pratima Murthy highlighted that road accidents contribute to a loss of 1.5 to 2.5 per cent of India's GDP annually and that 60 to 80% of road traffic accident fatalities occur in the age group of 19 to 50 years, impacting the most economically active segment of society, with males disproportionately affected compared to females.

She emphasized that the majority of accidents involve vulnerable road users such as two-wheeler riders, cyclists, and pedestrians, who are at high risk. She stressed the critical need for standardized helmet usage to prevent head injuries, noting that only a third of individuals in the city wear helmets that meet safety standards.

Emphasizing the importance of wearing a helmet correctly while driving, Additional Commissioner of Transport Purushottam said, “Wearing a helmet without fastening the strap is illegal and everyone must securely fasten the strap to save lives."

City Police Commissioner B. Dayananda highlighted that all road injuries and accidents are preventable if traffic rules are followed, while a senior officer from the city traffic police Anucheth also remarked that the majority of road incidents can be avoided if people plan their day and head out in advance, ensuring that traffic rules are not violated.

Bike rally in front of Vidhan Soudha
Bike rally in front of Vidhan Soudha(Photo | Express)

The event concluded with the Home Minister flagging off a bike rally that commenced at the TNIE office on Cunningham Road and passed by the majestic Vidhana Soudha.

Home Minister flagging off a bike rally
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