Holistic awareness and engagement programme for drivers and citizens across National Highways
On the occasion of National Road Safety week, United Spirits (USL), a Diageo Group Company, and Essar Oil Limited, have announced a path-breaking collaboration to create a paradigm shift in road safety in India. This programme that brings two big corporate houses together in a unique partnership will create awareness and drive definitive behaviour change, particularly among commercial vehicle and truck drivers through a combination of on-ground at the point of sale (petrol pumps), as well as digital, activity.
Essar Oil currently has a retail footprint of over 3200 outlets and petrol pumps in India, many of which are situated along national highways. The year-long programme will educate drivers, especially commercial drivers, who arrive at these petrol pumps, providing training and awareness on various aspects of road safety, particularly drunk driving. It will also provide training for first responders to help and assist road crash victims with the support of Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE) and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS).
Lalit Gupta, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Essar Oil Limited, said, “The great aspirations of our economy require commensurate attention towards safety. As a responsible corporate and a fast growing retail fuel supplier for road travel and transportation, Essar Oil is committed to creating and widening awareness of safety measures to save precious human lives that could be lost in road accidents. Essar Oil is happy to partner with United Spirits on creating awareness about the importance of road safety.”
Speaking on the collaboration, Anand Kripalu, Managing Director and CEO, United Spirits, said, “We are proud to have a like-minded partner in Essar Oil to address the critical issue of Road Safety in India. At United Spirits, we believe in the power of partnerships. Over the last three years, our signature Road to Safety initiative has worked with governments, NGOs and universities, achieving major milestones as a result of these strong partnerships. Essar Oil’s strong network and high vehicular footfall is an opportunity to further amplify our common cause of safer roads and initiate large-scale behaviour shifts.”
Recent government statistics reveal the appalling state of road safety in the country, bringing to light the astonishing data of 1 road accident occurring every four minutes in India. With over 1,45,000 fatalities a year, India accounts for 12.5% of global road accidents. The United Nations mentions that India suffers a loss of $58 billion annually due to accidents. In 2012, 48,768 lives were lost in road accidents on the national highways with the number increasing to 51,204 in 2015.
In support of the World Health Organisation’s goal to reduce the harmful use of alcohol by 10 per cent by 2025, in India, USL-Diageo has had a strong and multi-dimensional ‘Road to Safety’ initiative for the past three years, which has covered 23 states and 53 cities in India; trained 4,000 police officials on traffic regulations, enforcement of drunk driving offences and the correct usage of breath analysers; and educated 5,000 drivers of commercial vehicles on the dangers of drunk driving.
United Spirits Limited (USL) is a subsidiary of Diageo plc which is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands across spirits, beer and wine categories. In 2013-14, Diageo plc acquired a 54.8% shareholding in United Spirits making India one of its largest markets.