Diageo India (United Spirits), today announced the launch of the Road Safety Capacity Building program for the West Bengal Police together with the Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE). The programme was inaugurated by Mr. Surujit Kar Purakayastha, DGP & IGP, West Bengal Police, in the presence of Mr. Vivek Sahay, IPS, ADGP (Traffic), West Bengal, Mr. Peeyush Pandey, ADGP-2 (Traffic), West Bengal, Mr. Sandeep Singhal, Chief Operating Officer – East, Diageo India and Dr. Rohit Baluja, President, Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE).
With over 1,45,000 fatalities a year, India accounts for 12.5% of global road accidents, with 1 road accident occurring every four minutes. In 2015 alone, 72% victims in road mishaps were in the age group of 15-44 years and it is estimated that 1.5% of road traffic accidents and 4.6% of fatalities are attributable to drunken driving. According to data by the West Bengal Police, in 2017 till November, the state reported over 5000 fatalities and over 9500 serious injuries due to road accidents.
Aimed at achieving higher levels of efficiency and effectiveness, the programme from 18 – 20 January 2018 in Kolkata, provided capacity building training to traffic police and transport officers in road accident investigation and traffic management.
Commenting on the initiative, Abanti Sankaranarayanan, Chief Strategy and Corporate Affairs Officer, Diageo India, said “The Diageo ‘Road to Safety’ initiative aims to create the necessary impact to address the abysmal state of road safety in our country. By collaborating with West Bengal Police and IRTE, we aim to take this programme to greater heights by encouraging more people to focus on the ‘Safe Drive-Save Life’ campaign.”
Dr. Rohit Baluja, President, Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE), said ““Road Safety is the backbone of an efficient and safe traffic management system. I would like to compliment and congratulate the West Bengal Police for having taken this bold initiative to undertake the capacity building programme for its police force.”
The Diageo India- IRTE ‘Road to Safety’ initiative is currently in its 4th Year and aims to provide capacity building training to traffic police officials and educate commercial drivers such as truckers and bus drivers and university students on the dangers of drunken driving. Each programme is conducted by an expert panel of faculty of the IRTE. The deliberations include causes and consequences of road accidents, rules of road regulations and understanding traffic control devices.
Since 2014, the programme has trained over 4000 traffic officials in road safety capacity-building, along with 6,000 commercial vehicle drivers and over 5,000 university students in 50 cities of 15 states. High quality breath alcohol analysers were donated to police departments of several states.