Shuttl, a technology-enabled, seat-based, demand-adaptive bus mobility solution, today has launched ‘SAFE DRIVE, SAFE LIFE’ – a Road Safety Awareness Program, in association with Uttarpara Kotrung Municipal Corporation, Kolkata. The Guest of Honor, Shri Prabir Ghosal, Member Legislative Assembly, West Bengal from Konnagar launched the campaign by flagging off Shuttl’s three new buses at an event held in Uttarpara. These buses will ply in the Uttarpara Kotrung Municipality region.
With an aim to spread awareness about the increasing road accidents, Shuttl will extend this campaign to other regions and will organize the event in Hooghly on 26th August 2019 and in Kolkata on 27th August 2019. Shuttl has also teamed up with Civic Authorities and Traffic Police in Kolkata for this program to educate citizens and drivers on road safety, traffic rules, and driver-pedestrian best practices over the period.
Speaking on the occasion, Sh. Dilip Yadav, Chairman, Uttarpara Kotrung Municipal Corporation said, “The rising number of road accidents is an issue which Municipal Corporation takes very seriously. Better informed commuters ensure that safety on our roads improve. By raising awareness amongst the users of roads, we aim to ensure that the roads of our city are safe and comfortable for every citizen. We are happy to partner with Shuttl in helping us spread the message of SAFE DRIVE, SAFE LIFE”.
Commenting on the campaign, Mr. Veer Singh, Vice President, Trust and Safety for Shuttl said, “Road accidents is a major reason behind fatal deaths in the country, which is even more than natural calamities or terrorism. At Shuttl, road safety is our priority and as a responsible organization, we provide appropriate training sessions to our drivers. Most of the accidents occur due to non-compliance with the rules of the road and we endeavor to bring people’s attention towards this issue. We are honored and humbled to be able to assist the Uttarpara Kotrung Municipal Corporation in this important mission in the best possible way we can and to address this alarming but often neglected issue. We also believe that much more needs to be done to raise awareness among citizens and a routinely frequent messaging on the buses and road safety awareness boards at various locations, will go a long way in doing so.”
Recognizing the long hours and harsh working conditions for traffic police personnel, Shuttl provided the officials with protective rain-wear and air pollution masks. The event also saw officers of the traffic police being felicitated by the Member of the Legislative Assembly of West Bengal Sh. Prabir Ghosal, for their outstanding contributions to road safety and strict enforcement of traffic rules. The event was attended by several senior officials of the Uttarpara Kotrung and Champdani Municipalities.
Kolkata, which has the highest level of congestion, especially during the peak commute hours of 7-9 AM and 6-8 PM is among the top 4 metros in India and has witnessed a surge in demand for mobility in past few years because of the fast pace of urbanization in the city. Not only this, the pressure on the stretched public transport infrastructure in the city, has also led to traffic congestion, hindering mobility, increasing operating cost of vehicles, delay, pollution and stress. According a data by West Bengal Traffic Police, around 14,000 serious road accidents are reported every year, of which almost 50% result in deaths (nearly 7000 incidents). Whereas, a WHO report puts India on top of the list of countries with deaths due to road mishaps. Even the recent amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act have also sought to address the
issue of road safety by making penalties for traffic violations substantially higher and strengthening the enforcement mechanism and powers of states.
Since its launch in 2015, Shuttl has made people reduce their dependence on cars and use bus-based shared mobility instead. In 2017, the company also launched the SAFE (Safe Anxiety Free Experience) project which provides multiple safety checks to every commuter through various embedded technology features. The company has seen rapid adoption as 57% of its commuters earlier used car for their daily commute, with women accounting for 38% of Shuttl’s commuter base. It has also been able to induce modal shift (car-to-bus) and deliver safe mobility in cities.