Calling all Road Heroes to join the ride to safety - Hero We Care
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Calling all Road Heroes to join the ride to safety

Hero MotoCorp rolls out Phase 2 of Be a Road Hero campaign.

Ramesh Pathania has clocked over 500,000 km in the last 20 years. (Photo: HT Brand Studio)

India recently earned the ignominious No 1 rank for the number of road accident deaths among 199 nations in the WHO Global Report on Road Safety 2018. Almost 11 per cent of accident-related deaths in the world are attributed to India. “The numbers are much higher than those dying in wars across the globe,” laments Ramesh Pathania. This automotive enthusiast and Road Hero calls himself a “passionate driver” and has clocked over 500,000 km in the last 20 years. However, today, he finds the unruly traffic and incidences of road rage major deterrents in pursuing his passion for driving.

Tushar Sahani (Photo: HT Brand Studio)

There is hope yet for people like Pathania. Continuing its efforts to inculcate road safety and good riding habits among Indian road users, Hero MotoCorp Ltd, the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer, is launching phase 2 of its Be a Road Hero campaign. Phase 1 saw immense success last year, with over 27,000 pledges taken. A Road Hero champions change in and pledges to observe better road behaviour. The focus is on assisting individuals in making correct judgements on the road and helping them choose proper riding gear. This becomes all the more important in the light of latest statistics that show that 17 people succumb to road accidents every hour in India. Of these, four die because they were not wearing the basic safety gear for two-wheeler riders—helmets.

Srimoyee Chowdhury (Photo: HT Brand Studio)

Hero MotoCorp has identified three main reasons that compromise road safety in India—negligent driving, lack of awareness, and poor infrastructure. Between 2017 and 2018, the number of people killed on Indian roads recorded a rise of 2.37 per cent, from 1.47 lakh deaths in 2017 to 1.51 lakh in 2018, according to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

Parvesh Dayal travels 15 km to his workplace by motorbike every day (Photo: HT Brand Studio)

While speeding caused 64.4 per cent of all road accident deaths, driving on the wrong side of the road accounted for 5.8 per cent of accident-related deaths, and drunk driving resulted in 2.8 per cent deaths. The alarming tendency of people to use their mobile phones while on the road caused 2.4 per cent deaths. Parvesh Dayal, 38, has the perfect answer to this. A Road Hero himself, Dayal travels 15 km to his workplace by motorbike every day. And, every time he spots errant drivers riding without helmet or talking on mobile phones, he stops them to point out the erroneous behaviour, albeit gently. The response, he says, has been mixed. However, many acknowledge their fault and rectify it.

Papia Lahiri, 32, finds jaywalkers a traffic menace (Photo: HT Brand Studio)

Hero MotoCorp has been actively working with several state police departments for ride-safe training programmes. It partners with local Traffic Police at its state-of-the-art Traffic Training Parks in Gurugram, Delhi, Rourkela, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Nasik, Nagpur, and Bilaspur for Road Safety awareness programmes for students. Other initiatives include exclusive Ride Safe Programmes for many leading corporates across India to enhance safety of their two-wheeler users and a Mobile Safety Van in Gurugram that gives transport access to students at remote locations.

DS Negi, 73, feel this campaign is a great initiative. (Photo: HT Brand Studio)

Through its Be a Road Hero campaign, Hero MotoCorp is encouraging what constitutes Right Road Behaviour—wearing a helmet, wearing a seat belt and helping a road accident victim. For retired HR professional D.S. Negi, this is a “great initiative”. Troubled by the sight of drivers talking on the phone or riders without seatbelt, this Road Hero has been pulling up the culprits methodically. Like Pathania, 55, Negi, who is 73, feels the age factor helps soften the blow. “People feel embarrassed and promise to reform,” he says.

Media professional Papia Lahiri, 32, finds jaywalkers a traffic menace too. “I make those travelling with me aware of the importance of walking the talk when it comes to road safety. Make a small effort; there’s someone waiting for you at home.”

As Pathania says, “After all, it is in the nation’s interest. By putting a premium on road safety, we are not just prioritising our safety, but also that of others on the road. If everyone starts thinking like that, they are heroes!”

To become a Road Hero, take the pledge.

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