Held over 3 months, the contest was held across 44 cities for individuals, between the age of 18 and 30, with a valid Indian driving license. The yearly event has been endorsed by Regional Traffic & Government Bodies. With about 50,000 registrations to begin with, it all came down to 28 finalists. The last round was held yesterday at the Institute of Driving and Traffic Research (IDTR) in New Delhi. Smruti Ranjan Das took home an Alto 800.
Mayank Pareek, COO (Marketing & Sales), Maruti Suzuki India said, “Maruti has always believed in promoting responsible driving. Young driver provides a platform to every young individual to showcase his or her skills of being a safe driver. We are dedicated to promoting the culture of safe driving through communication programmes, IDTRs (Institute of Driving Training & Research) and Maruti Driving School MDSs. In fact this programme tested the skills of the contestants in the facilities provided by the Maruti Driving schools across the country. Tests were conducted in MDSs across 44 cities. The participants also embarked on simulator tests there. In fact the Maruti Driving schools are the state of the art driving schools in the country. Maruti Driving Schools were the first to introduce advanced driving training simulator for better judgment and concept of route maps for holistic on-road practice. They have a widespread presence of around 280 schools in over 150 cities across India.”
Purab Kohli said, “In the last decade or so I’ve realised that we have earned the money to buy beautiful cars but we don’t have the patience to learn to drive, even more so to make sure our drivers are driving carefully. Occasionally we hear of accidents where children are killed and I’m sure somewhere the parent will blame themselves. So I urge you to take responsibility, learn about your car and more importantly learn to drive carefully, where you’re not a nuisance to anybody or to yourself.”
Priyanka Bose said, “As the youth are fascinated with fancy cars and the thrill for speed , my only advice is that even if we think that we can control speed , we can’t. After all we are dealing with a machine. So be smart. I have seen very good drivers getting thrown off by other ‘silly’ drivers on the street. Mumbai roads are bad and till something drastic happens, they will always remain such, hence choose your machine wisely and instead of going completely fancy, maintain practicality as a bigger necessity.”
Hazel Keech, who is the first contestant to exit from the ‘Bigg Boss 7’ house said, Everywhere in the world you’ll come across unsafe drivers. I drive in Bombay and every day, without fail, I encounter drivers that seem to enjoy creating traffic jams & accidents. We must remember that no phone call is important enough to take while driving, if it is important pull over! You can’t teach people who drive badly to be smart or better drivers, instead YOU can be better. So, Be better, Be smart and Be safe!”
Swara Bhaskar said, “Driving responsibly is something that must be internalized by everyone, especially young people. My experiences have led me to believe that people who take responsibility for their actions in life and don’t pass the buck tend to be more successful. I think the same applies to India’s chaotic roads. People who are vigilant and careful about their own driving and don’t blame other rash drivers or rush hour traffic make better drivers. We must control the factors that we can control, and real change always begins at the level of the individual.”