India welcomes the FIA in a joint celebration of road safety

On a visit to India FIA President Jean Todt received a warm welcome and saw imaginative approaches to road safety education.

Over the course of a busy week in India, FIA President Jean Todt saw first-hand the efforts being made by member clubs to improve road safety in line with the FIA’s 10 Golden Rules for safer motoring. Accompanying the President on his trip was Nitin Dossa, President of the Federation of Automobile Associations of India (FIAA).

With a rapidly growing population of road users, India’s automobile associations have joined together under the FIAA banner to promote responsible mobility across the country. High on their list of priorities is improving road safety, a goal they share with the FIA and its Action for Road Safety campaign.

The AfRS campaign concentrates on educating road users to improve road safety around the world, and distils its core goals into the 10 Golden Rules for safer motoring.

Particularly relevant in India is Rule 9 – Wear a helmet. India’s busy roads are filled with motorbike riders and pillion passengers, many of whom risk their personal safety by choosing not to wear a helmet.

Helping to reinforce the message during a trip to Ahmedabad, Todt distributed motorcycle helmets to adults and children and told them how important it is to protect the head.

In a country the size of India, a one-size-fits-all approach is undesirable, and the FIA President saw local and regional initiatives designed to improve road safety awareness for pedestrians and motorists of all ages.

A recent Road Safety Week in Mumbai saw workshops for the city’s rickshaw and taxi drivers, educating them on the rules of the road, an initiative which goes hand in hand with the FIA’s efforts to improve road safety around the world with educational activities targeted at specific groups of road users.

Imaginative approaches to road safety education are particularly effective for younger road users, and Todt’s Indian visit was marked by a design competition that saw 200 Indian schoolchildren from six local schools create posters promoting the FIA’s Ten Golden Rules. Prizes were awarded to the winners, while all participants took home a road safety souvenir.

Further targeting India’s next generation of road users was a three-hour road safety demonstration for seven to twelve-year-olds at Mumbai’s Traffic Park. Children were taught how to safely navigate their bicycles through the full complement of urban situations, including best practice at traffic lights and crossroads.

The FIA President was impressed by the level of grassroots involvement he saw in India and the enthusiasm for the Action for Road Safety campaign, with member clubs taking an imaginative approach to their promotion of the Golden Rules.