Mobile use on the road isn’t limited to risky in car behaviour. Pedestrians use mobile phones and listen to music using headphones increasing road safety threat in India, a country that accounts for 10 pct global road fatalities. N.K.Sinha, Chairman, International Road Federation (IRF), India Chapter while speaking on Small steps to Road Safety at Rotary club Delhi Ridge said distracted driving is a growing road safety threat. Yatinder Suri, India head Outokumpu; Dipak Singh, Rotary Ridge President; Col. Iqbal Singh; J K Chopra, Ravi Kalra and Shashi Patharia were in attendance.
As mobile phone ownership, and use of in-vehicle communication systems increases, related road safety concerns looks to escalate in India. With about 1.38 lakh people estimated to die on Indian roads each year, and 5 million injured, current trends point to road crashes becoming the fifth leading cause of death by 2030. Texting, surfing the internet while driving is a growing trend, in addition to increased use of integrated in-vehicle including Global Positioning System (GPS). Use of tech is contributing to driver distraction, and is among a leading contributor to road traffic fatalities and injuries.
Driver distraction owing to tech use is a global problem and contributes to road crashes each year. Tackling it would require implementation of national laws and awareness campaigns. Organisations can develop guidelines and standards so in-vehicle information and communication systems are less distracting. IRF plans to launch a social media campaign to educate drivers and initiate behavioural changes to lower mobile phone usage while driving. Auto manufcaturers are constantly working on seamless integration of tech and apps to curb distraction. Indian Government is gung ho about amending the Motor Vehicle Act to impose fines on drivers using a hand-held or hands-free device, or a gadget capable of transmitting or receiving signs, images or sounds. Awareness and behavioural change is the best solution and safety groups have to work on such growing issues.