Uber, transport ministry join hands to encourage road safety awareness

As part of its ongoing efforts to encourage road safety awareness, on-demand ride-sharing company Uber on Tuesday joined hands with Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to push for the cause in the country which witnesses around 500,000 accidents every year.

Uber will jointly promote road safety messaging on its mobile application and the social media through co-branded materials and mediums, the US-headquartered ride-hailing firm said in a statement here.

"Ensuring road safety is key priority for the government as India witnesses around five lakh accidents and 1.5 lakh deaths every year.

"We are committed to reducing fatal road accidents by 50 per cent by 2020, being a signatory to the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety," Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari was quoted as saying in the statement.

"This effort to make our roads safer has to be a collaborative multi-pronged initiative that needs joint action from policymakers, civic authorities, automobile industry, civil society and commuters in general.

"Sensitising the public about their roles in ensuring road safety is as vital as placement of curbs, under-passes and safety features for pedestrians," he added.

Advertisements and videos targeting prevention of drunk driving and promotion of rear seat belts and hands on the wheel, among other themes, will be prepared and disseminated across the country as part of this safety campaign, Uber added.

Another key initiative towards impacting road safety awareness and education among drivers, both on and off the Uber app, is the decision to jointly develop learning aids and informational tools that shall guide the driver training programme in driving schools across the country.

The ministry and Uber will jointly be preparing the learning materials which will be shared and utilised by over 200 driving schools, including training institutes run by the government, the statement said.

"By jointly promoting road safety messaging among lakhs of riders and by guiding driver partners on road safety measures through learning aids, we are focused on empowering people to make better, safer choices and playing an enabling role in making our roads safer," said Pradeep Parameswaran, Head, Operations, Uber India & South Asia.

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