new research report by Nissan India and Save LIFE Foundation brought attention
to the startling number of Indians compromising their own but also their children’s
safety. Released by Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport &
Highways, the study titled ‘Rear Seat-Belt Usage and Child Road Safety in
India’, found that over 90 percent respondents reported not using a rear
seat-belt, thereby risking their safety.
was further confirmed through an observational survey, conducted at strategic
locations in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Jaipur, Kolkata, and Lucknow, revealing
that 98 percent respondents were in fact not using their rear-seat belt. Usage
of rear seat-belts is very low despite over 70 percent of people affirming to
the presence of rear seat-belts.
Motown India magazine has been propagating
the use of safety belts in cars for a quite a while. Apart from the several
write ups, the Motown India YouTube channel has made a couple of videos pointing
out the miserable record among Indians when it comes to wearing safety belts in
study by Nissan India and Save LIFE Foundation also focused on the safety of
children during commute and revealed that two thirds of respondents believed
that Indian roads are unsafe for children. The report also revealed that
despite 92.8 percent respondents reported being aware of the safety benefits of
child helmets, only 20.1 percent respondents owned a child helmet. This becomes
especially relevant in light of the latest data released by Ministry of Road
Transport and Highways (MoRTH) according to which9,408 children lost their
lives to road crashes in year 2017 alone. This translates to nearly 26 child
deaths on Indian roads every day.
its findings, the report also builds a strong case for a comprehensive national
Road Safety law, or the passage of Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill to bridge the
policy-implementation gap and build a robust enforcement mechanism for better
compliance. The need for both, better policy awareness and implementation, is
evident in the report’s findings; only27.7 percent of respondents were aware
that rear seat-belt usage is already mandated under the current law in India.
Further, 91.4 percent of respondents felt the need for a strong child road
safety law in India.
Gadkari said, "As India continues on its trajectory of rapid
infrastructure growth, the role of road safety acquires immense importance.
Through a combination of policy and awareness creation measures, the government
has given road safety the critical importance it deserves. I would like to laud
this initiative, and the willingness of corporate India and civil society to
work together to make road safety a people's movement."
on the launch of the report, Thomas Kuehl, President, Nissan India Operations,
said, “While there have been various initiatives undertaken to raise awareness
around road safety in India, the importance of wearing rear seat belts has been
completely neglected. At Nissan, it is our vision to enrich people’s lives and
through this initiative, we aim to raise awareness around the usage of rear
seat belts. Our strategic partnership with Save LIFE Foundation and SHARP will
set a strong base to bring attention towards this important issue. The first
phase of our campaign will focus on reaching out and educating over 200k
children in 240 schools across 12 cities on usage of rear seat belts and road
Seat Belt Usage and Child Road Safety in India’ study,conducted by research
firm MDRA for Nissan India and SaveLIFE Foundation, covered 11 Indian cities
and recorded responses through 6,306 face-to-face interviews, 100 in-depth
expert interviews, two focused group discussions and on-site observations to
gauge compliance of CBSE School Bus guidelines as well as usage of rear seat belts.
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