Cab aggregator Ola, operated by ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd, has set-up a new ‘safety council’ comprising policy experts and activists to work with the government to reduce road fatalities, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

The council will include members from various sectors including urban transport, climate change, women’s safety, security management, traffic management, and emergency management services. It will primarily look to enhance road safety standards and spread awareness among drivers and road users.

The safety council will also lend support to set up eye check-ups and gender sensitization training targeted at 1 million driver partners. In addition to this, Ola will also provide first responder training certification for 1 lakh driver partners.

The council’s member organizations include Indian Road Safety Campaign, represented by its founder and president, Amar Srivastava; and the Centre for Social Research, led by its director Ranjana Kumari. Its individual members are O.P. Agarwal, head, World Resources Institute (WRI); Parvinder Singh Pasricha, former director general of police, Maharashtra; and Dr. G.V. Ramana Rao, director, Emergency Medicine Learning Centre & Research.

“Given the rich experience of safety experts backed by Ola’s tech prowess and countrywide reach, the industry first council will further strengthen the mobility safety ecosystem in the country. The intent is to galvanize public-private partnerships through a multi-stakeholder approach, bringing in measurable impact," said Nitesh Prakash senior director of operations, Ola.

The council will additionally implement working principles of the ‘United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety’. The UN’s road safety principles aim to make improvements in areas such as road safety management, the safety of road infrastructure and vehicles, the behaviour of drivers and road users, and post-crash care.

According to Amar Srivastava, founder, Solve, and Ola’s safety council member, the socio-economic consequences of road accidents are an estimated $58 billion, which is approximately 3% of India’s GDP.

“Not to mention the rehabilitation costs and the emotional toll this takes on the society. The council is currently working on a series of concrete measures that we plan to announce in the coming year and Solve’s Road Safety arm, Indian Road Safety Campaign (IRSC), is looking forward to partnering with Ola on these measures," Srivastava added.

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