Actor, model and marathon runner Milind Soman on Friday launched a pictorial book titled “Drive Safe India” on road safety at the office of Community Against Drunken Driving (CADD) office in Shahpur Jat in New Delhi.

The actor, who has become a role model for safe driving having extended support to activist Prince Singhal’s CADD for the past five years, also announced a 10-km youth run in ten cities -- Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Surat, Jaipur, Dehra Dun, Chandigarh and Lucknow. The run would start next month to create awareness on the need to stop drunken driving.

These runs would be conducted in campus areas like Delhi University in which college students would play a significant role in creating awareness on the causes of road accidents. The ever enthusiastic Milind will participate in these runs.

“I will be spearheading these runs which will be spread over ten cities. We need to come out with out-of-the-box ideas considering the fact that thousands of people get killed annually in road accidents. The menace of unsafe driving plagues all cosmopolitan cities,” Milind said.

Milind said Prince Singhal has been using different yet novel ways to create awareness among the public about the need to drive safely and responsibly.

“This time round we have brought out a pictorial book which talks about the need to drive safely, observe traffic signals and explains the leading causes of fatal accidents. Besides telling people not to drive after consuming alcohol, the book also talks about not indulging in rash driving and overloading,” he adds.

The actor said “Drive Safe India” is basically a public road safety campaign planned with a nationwide reach to build road safety as a social movement. The campaign would include several activities like disseminating information on the various dos and don’ts for road safety and bring about a behavioural change among the masses towards adopting road safety practices in daily life.

According to Prince Singhal, there is a need to address the issue as road accident fatalities have been rising over the past decade. “Fatal road accidents have risen to about 143,000 annually. Nearly 65 to 70 per cent of these accidents are due to drunken driving with a majority of victims being youth. Even though road accident deaths have taken such a massive toll, the government has taken no concrete steps in terms of law or addressing road safety on a public platform.”

It has taken CADD a year to compile the book. It received 2,000 posters and cartoons from students and 100 were short-listed and used in the book which would be distributed free in various schools and colleges.

The campaign will include several community-based activities such as screening of short films, theatre, songs, distributing safe driving booklets, community walks and media advocacy as a platform to spread awareness about road safety issues.

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