The industry on Thursday adopted a voluntary code of conduct covering all issues and practices relevant to road safety thereby accorded top priority to reduce road accident rates in the State.

Representing the industry, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) signed a memorandum of understanding with the Karnataka Transport Department here. The activities covered through the understanding will include awareness campaign, seminars, conferences, events, training programmes, counselling, and implementation of projects, study missions, research projects and publications.

Launching this Safefleets initiative of CII, Karnataka Transport Minister R. Ashoka said when customers demand safe and comfortable travel and safety of their goods as their right, then only the quality of transport service will increase.

Giving out statistics, Mr. Ashoka said there 90 lakh vehicles registered in the State as on December 2009, out of which 41 lakh were in Bangalore alone. Over 8,000 people had died of road accidents while 45,000 were injured in the State last year and 800 deaths were in Bangalore city. The Safefleets initiative taken by the industry is a welcome move, the Minister said and assured all necessary cooperation from the Transport Department.

Discipline week

Mr. Ashoka said besides organising Bus Day every month to encourage travel by public transport, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation will organise Discipline Week from the coming week. During the period, bus crew will be sensitised to follow road discipline, including parking at designated bus bays and following other rules.

The Department, Mr. Ashoka said, is striving hard to encourage public transport in order to reduce road accidents, traffic congestion and air pollution. Terming traffic congestion and pollution the two banes Bangalore has been facing, the Minister said only public transport could address these issues effectively.

The MoU was signed by P. Girish, Principal Counsellor and Head, CII Institute of Quality on behalf of CII and Transport Commissioner Bhaskar Rao. CII Institute’s Chairman K.N. Shenoy, CII Karnataka Chairman Aroon Raman, Secretary to Government, Transport Department, M.K. Shankaralinge Gowda and other senior officials were present.

Safety management

Speaking about the initiative, which is supported by Shell India Markets Pvt., Ltd., Mr. Shenoy said it aims at preventing deaths and injuries caused by road accidents by developing road transportation safety management standards. For this they have brought in the voluntary code of conduct for adoption and implementation in organisations operating fleets for moving people and goods.

Though a few companies had put in road safety management systems in place, they were in isolation as the vast majority of companies did not have a structured mechanism in place. Therefore, the code of conduct covers driver management, vehicle management, journey management and contractor management, Mr. Shenoy said.

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