Piyush Tewari, founder, CEO, Save Life Foundation, talks about the important findings of the report and its implications.
What was the objective of this survey?
There were two prime objectives — to look into the ignored issues when it comes to road safety and the use of rear seat belts and safety of children. There is a study that says we lose a child in road accident every one hour in India and this is five times greater than all the crimes against children put together.
Where does Chennai stand when compared to other cities?
With respect to rear seat belt, there is a higher awareness in the city (41 per cent). While, 10 per cent of the commuters fasten the seat belts, 16 per cent of the children are made to wear belts in the rear seat. Of the respondents we spoke to in the city, 71 per cent felt city roads were unsafe for children. The main reason was this was the driving patterns. And, when it came to using helmets for children, only 6.4 per cent of the people said they get their children to wear helmets, way lower than the national average. In Chennai, we also found that compliance to the CBSE guidelines for school buses was higher.
Tamil Nadu can introduce road safety law especially for riders and drivers with children. These can, include making helmets and rear seat belts compulsory for kids. They can also suggest different mode of transportation, safety measures and ensure adult accountability. Adults should be directly held accountable for the safety of children. We also intend to take this report to 250 schools and launch an extensive campaign to sensitise the parents.