Earlier this year, UL partnered with Ashoka, a global network of change makers, and launched the Safer Roads, Safer India: Game Changing Innovations That Save Lives challenge to increase public awareness of road safety challenges, crowd source solutions and accelerate the rate of positive change. The Safe Roads challenge is part of a pilot being tested across India, with a focus on Bangalore, the country’s third-largest city.
Three road safety entrepreneurs have been selected as winners in the innovation challenge. Their projects were evaluated by an expert panel of judges and chosen as the top solutions from a pool of more than 80 entries that activate citizenship, update infrastructure, and use technology to protect drivers, passengers and bystanders.
The three winning entrepreneurs, who were selected for meeting criteria for innovation, social impact and sustainability, will each receive INR 300,000 in unrestricted funding to support their road safety innovations. The winning projects are the Neighbourhood Improvement Plan (NIP), Kolkata Emergency Medical System and Service, and Home Safe.
About the Winners
Neighbourhood Improvement Plan (NIP)
The NIP is a new, citizen-driven project operating in Bangalore’s HSR Ward 174 that is designed to make roads safer for pedestrians and vehicles. NIP participants attend regular meetings to discuss local road safety issues, develop solutions and implement the fixes. Stakeholders can even share feedback online. The NIP in Ward 174 has made small but significant changes to two high-risk junctions. The results are clear: no accidents have been reported since the installation of traffic signals, which has garnered the attention of Bangalore’s Municipal Corporation.
Kolkata Emergency Medical System and Service (KMES)
This project is a centralized medical emergency system that helps India’s numerous emergency service providers better respond to traffic incidents. The system, updated in real time, allows citizen bystanders to use their GPS-enabled mobile phones to report incidents. The KMES app alerts ambulance services in the vicinity of a traffic accident victim, who’s picked up free of charge and transport to the nearest hospital via the fastest route. SMS updates are also sent to volunteer paramedic emergency workers and drivers if no official trauma responders are immediately available.
Home Safe is the first on-call chauffeur service in New Delhi and is aimed at keeping drivers off the road after they have been drinking. Safe, sober drivers are available at all hours, every day of the week, and can be booked through hotline numbers, online or via a mobile app. Home Safe works with more than 150 bars and pubs in New Delhi, which promote the safe driver service, and drops off more than 1,000 customers at their homes every month.
Bangalore People’s Choice Award Winner
The Bangalore People’s Choice Award is a special focus prize, chosen by residents of Bangalore, who voted via SMS Sept. 1-10. The prize has been awarded to Positive Strokes.
The Positive Strokes project identifies and positively reinforces good road use as a means of altering predominant road behavior. Youth volunteers are selected to observe other drivers’ behavior and commend those driving safely. This fosters a sense of ownership of the problem and equips youth volunteers with a personal sense of right and wrong behavior on the road, aiding in overall behavior change.
Stay tuned for information about the India Road Safety Summit Nov. 24-25 in Delhi. Additional information about the competition, plus guidelines and assessment criteria, can be found at changemakers.com/saferoads.