Now, you can give ideas to make your city safer and win prizes worth Rs. 3 lakh too.

Two private organisations are crowdsourcing ideas from the general public to make cities safer.

It is an initiative mooted by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a 120-year-old global safety science company, and Ashoka, the international network of social entrepreneurs.

“We wanted to involve local residents in making their cities safer. They know better about their locality and what improvements need to be made. Sometimes, the idea for one city may work out for another metro too,” said R.A. Venkitachalam, vice-president, public safety mission, UL.

People can take part in the competition, called ‘Safer roads, safer India’, by sending ideas on active citizenship (innovative awareness campaigns and road safety education), technology (use of everyday technologies like GPS and smartphones), policy and governance (improving bystander response and suggesting changes in Motor Vehicles Act), and smart urban design (better pedestrian facilities, improvement in public transport among others).

A total of six ideas will be selected by a panel of safety experts led by Dinesh Mohan, Henry Ford professor for biomechanics and transportation safety, Indian Institute of Technology-New Delhi, based on their innovation, ease of implementation, impact and sustainability.

In addition to the above four categories, there will be two additional prizes: most innovative idea and people’s choice idea.

The details of the competition can be found on www.changemakers.com/ saferoads. “The ideas should be cost-effective. We will take it up and implement it with the help of corporate funding. The guidance of government officials, including traffic police personnel, will be taken,” said Mr. Venkitachalam.

Each idea will be tested in one locality for a year. If successful, it will be implemented in other localities too. “We will ensure the ideas are implemented,” he said.

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