Fleet Forum and the Global Road Safety Partnership Convene Road Safety Roundtable in New Delhi, India

Fleet Forum and the Global Road Safety Partnership, along with senior personnel representing from partner organisations, convened in New Delhi, India, on 8 December, 2011 for an inaugural roundtable session. The FIA Foundation hosted the event which is part of a new initiative from Fleet Forum to collaborate with members from the entire sector of organisations who impact and are impacted by road safety and fleet management issues in the field of humanitarian transport.

The goal of the event was to develop a joint vision of how road safety in India should be approached, to agree on initiatives to support road safety improvements within participating organisations, and to devise practices for how those organisations collaborate to achieve the goals set forth. Each participant shared how road safety is currently managed in their organisation.

Each organisation was assigned to work on three specific initiatives in the areas of vehicle standards, training curriculum and certification, and community engagement. There was a commitment from all participants to work together and to mobilize resources within their organisation to work on specific initiatives.

“This group realised that their collaboration can lead to a reversal in the number of accidents in India,” says Paul Jansen, Executive Director of Fleet Forum. “The awareness that this group represents 25% of the transport in India means that they can take road safety out of the competition. This group can change the profile of the transport sector in India and has the energy to do it.”

With the cost of road traffic fatalities and injuries estimated at 3% of the Indian GDP, the lack of road safety in India severely impacts economic development. “India at the moment is the country with the largest number of road traffic fatalities,” explained Jansen. “The participating organisations at the Road Safety Roundtable face the same risks, in their own fleets and in their outsourced transport. It is not easy to work individually to mitigate these risks. These organisations can collaborate by sharing and developing hands on solutions and tools that can support them to improve their road safety.”

Major C M Bhardwaj, Vice President – HR, Admin and Fleet, of Agarwal Packers & Movers, said, “The lesson learnt is that the transport fraternity in India has to take a holistic approach and realign their business interests with that of their fellow countrymen’s right not to lose their lives in an accidental death on road.”

The organisations represented at the roundtable included: Shell, BP, Coca Cola India, World Vision International, UPS, World Vision India, GRSP, Vodafone, Agarwal Packers and Movers and FIA Foundation.

Fleet Forum is an interagency association of more than 40 members, including NGOs, international organisations, the UN, academic institutions, donors and corporate partners. Founded in 2003, Fleet Forum was conceived as a collaborating body to encourage and develop relationships between humanitarian aid and development organisations all over the world. Its mission is to provide leadership and support in the areas of road safety, cost efficiency and environmental impact in order to save lives, save costs, and save the planet.

The Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) brings together governments and governmental agencies, the private sector and civil society organisations to address road safety issues in low and middle income countries. GRSP is a hosted programme of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), based in Geneva.

The FIA Foundation is an independent UK registered charity which manages and supports an international programme of activities promoting road safety, environmental protection and sustainable mobility, as well as funding specialist motor sport safety research.