By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 25 Dec: Geneva based International Road Federation (IRF), a global body pursuing the mission of safe roads and safe road mobility worldwide, has urged motorists in the country to usher in New Year 2019 with happiness and safety as this time of the year is event filled with revelry, it’s also one of the deadliest week on roads world over including India.
“Most of the holiday makers hit the road to various destinations for yearend celebrations. But travelling during holiday periods can be more risky because of increased traffic volumes, winter fog, congestion, tiredness, people driving in unfamiliar environments, and a higher number of people who are driving under the influence of alcohol,” said KK Kapila, Chairman, International Road Federation (IRF).
“It is very important that citizens welcome the New Year with happiness and safety. Thus, while celebrating, they should understand their responsibility as well. Road safety is everyone’s responsibility, every fatal crash or serious injury has a long-lasting effect on the family and friends left behind,” he said.
“New year holiday makers should plan their journey if they are travelling a long way and prepare to have regular rest stops to avoid fatigue. They should stick to the speed limit and never overtake in an unsafe manner. If it’s wet, drive with extra caution and if it’s flooded, forget it. Please drive safely and ensure your holiday memories are happy ones, as we all want a great, safe start to 2019,” said Kapila.
“The other suggestions for safe driving during holidays include ensuring vehicle is properly maintained, with car and tires inspected before one takes a long drive. One should check vehicle’s oil level, tyre pressure, windshield wipers and washer fluid, heater, defroster, antifreeze, and brakes before departing. During driving, one should pull off the road to make calls, or leave the calling to one of the co-passengers,” he added.
“The statistics support it — one is much more likely to survive a crash or come out with less injury by wearing your seatbelt. Always keep a safe following distance between yourself and the vehicle in front. Finally, one should relax. Driving during the holiday season can be stressful. Frustration can lead to poor decisions and risky behaviour behind the wheel. However, with the right attitude and some planning it can also be more enjoyable. One should be patient and don’t be provoked by other drivers’ aggressive behaviour,” he added.
“At present, India accounts for 10 per cent of global road accidents, with more than 1.47 lakh fatalities annually, the highest in the world. As a signatory to Brasilia Declaration, India is committed to reducing the number of road accidents and fatalities by 50 % by 2020,” declared KK Kapila.