Bengaluru: Cab aggregator Ola, operated by ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd, is setting up a road safety council of policy experts to work with the government to reduce road fatalities, according to two people aware of the plans.

The council’s agenda includes the setting up of eye check-ups for 1 million driver partners, gender sensitivity training and first-responder training certification for drivers, said one of the people quoted above.

The council’s member organizations are the 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.

Ola’s safety council will also work towards supporting the government’s objective of halving the number of road accidents and deaths by 2020. The agenda was part of a global high-level conference on road safety held in 2015 in Brazil where 220 delegate countries, including India, signed a declaration to reduce road accidents by 50% by 2020. The government has also constituted a national-level road safety council to take policy decisions in matters of road safety.

In addition to this, all states and Union territories were instructed to set up their own state road safety councils.

Ola will work with both public and private entities and will adopt a multi-functional approach for its safety council, the second of the people quoted above said. It will additionally implement working principles of the ‘United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety’, the person added.

The UN’s road safety targets, which will be adopted by Ola envisage making improvements in areas such as road safety management, safety of road infrastructure and vehicles, behaviour of drivers and road users, and post-crash care.

According to statistics from the International Road Federation (IRF), India ranks first in road deaths in the world. There were at least 480,000 road accidents in the country in 2016 in which 150,000 people died. Accidents cost India 3% of its GDP, equalling $58 billion in value terms, according to IRF.

IRF data also shows that most road accident victims in India in 2016 were in the age group of 18 to 45. Drink driving, reckless driving, texting and talking on mobile phones and speeding were the main reasons for road accidents in India, according to IRF.

Earlier this week, the ministry of road transport and highways launched the 29th road safety week to cut road accidents.

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