Say YES to Technology, for a Seamless Journey of our Driver Brothers!

WhistleDrive in Collaboration with Indian Transport and Logistics News (ITLN) initiated a campaign #TheRoadAhead with an intent to take valuable insights from industry leaders & experts in Logistics, Transportation, Safety, Environment & Health to perceive the changes in the industry and spread awareness in the ecosystem. During the first episode, we have interacted with Mr. Rama Shankar Pandey, Chairman, Road Safety Sub Committee at FICCI, Regional Head – Asia, , sharing his thoughts on use of technology in the logistics and driver safety measures. You can also watch the full video here.

Below are the notes from the insights shared,

India, the most populated country, where the sense of driving and road safety should be our prime concern, but according to the reports an average of 425 people do not get home daily, and the only reason is the Road Accident. 

We account for 11% of the road accident fatality in the world, and surprisingly most of them are from the younger generation, who could be the future of the country. People in India are frustrated due to heavy traffic jams, where one has to be patient on-road and maintain distance, they often are in a rush and end up crashing other vehicles. 

Two types of people run on the Indian roads, one who thinks is smart and overconfident of getting away by breaking any rules. The other one is quite crazy, where one is blinded by superstitions and believes in lemon and chili to save lives over science and technology.  We often live with the misconception that educated people are skilled, but the drivers step in and take care of other drivers when it comes to following road safety and protocols. 

Connect with Respect!

Respect is the last thing which one expects, and in India, we lack giving them to drivers. 

When everyone in the pandemic was locked in, drivers stepped out giving a helping hand, the Government of India should consider them as the front-line workers and reward them for going that extra mile. When we can respect a pilot who flies an airplane, why can’t we respect the driver? Are we so concerned about the degree over skills? It’s a question we must ask ourselves. 
The lack of respect is the cause that no driver wants their kids to be a driver. Out of 90% of the country’s traveler traffic, street transportation holds 65%, which gives us a sense of how much road transportation contributes to the Indian economy. 

For A Change, Take Charge!

There are open potholes, unstructured speed breakers, poor road infrastructures, but when any accident takes place, the only person to blame 80% of the time is the driver.  All these acts pressurize the drivers and they can’t drive with peace. 
Drivers are scared of being caught most of the time by the traffic personnel as they charge them heftily, and blame them for things they have never done, just to collect challan. They are often charged with big challans even for a petty mistake. Apart from the lack of  infrastructure , there are other sides of the story too. No Indian has ever come up and said aloud that they haven’t violated the traffic rules. People often fear the challan risking their safety, so they try to act smart to avoid that. 
Mr.Ramshankar Pandey has quoted that “Na toh Challan ke liye, Na toh Jhuti Shaan Ke Liye, a person should follow all the road safety protocols, Apno aur apno ki Jaan Ke liye”.

Mr. Pandey has suggested 3 T’s that account for shaping a driver:

Training: A trained driver is a blessing to the road. When a driver is trained to follow safety measures, there is hardly any chance that he would commit any unlawful act or contribute to accidents. 

Trust: When organizations trust and respect the drivers, it helps them shape their skills and motivates them to drive responsibly as they feel recognized and important in the organization. 

Technology: When drivers use technology in their daily driving routine, it can ease many problems which they face, and helps them to follow Road Protocols. 

Think Smart, Think Technology!

A driver should be alerted and assisted rather than regulated and forced. 
When technology is responsible for alerting the driver, there would be no other manpower required to assist them. The device will be able to track the driving patterns and give alerts two mins before the driver is feeling drowsy. This act can save lots of lives on the road. 
When trucks are taken for the fitness test, more than 93% of the trucks don’t pass it, as most of them have their headlights missing. Still, the trucks are given a fit certificate, and we have blind trucks moving on the roads.
 For safety, every truck should be connected with a telematics tool, it does not only let you know where the driver is but also helps us Increase Efficiency, Improve Safety, Increase Job Satisfaction, Reduce Operating Costs, Monitor Safety Habits, Optimize Vehicle Performance, Schedule Alerts for Repair Centers, Analyze the speed. The technologies that the truck fleet can also use to prevent accidents are Dash Cam, Bulbs, lubricants, brake pad, wiper, horns.

To use the technology, the production should be high so that most of the drivers and organizations can afford it. It is high time that the government should take a step ahead and lower the cost of this equipment and raise production in India. Also, it is our foolishness to depend on the government for everything when we cannot change ourselves. We blame the infrastructure but are we doing our part by not breaking any rules? No matter how many articles we write or how many people speak up about road safety, in the end, road safety should happen on the roads and for that, the citizens should Spread Awareness – Commit to Educating People- Take Actions – and Monitor the Results. 

 Give Respect, Take Respect is a phrase we learned in schools, but are we applying it in our daily life? 

It is important for us to respect our drivers, our plumbers, our watchmen as without them we won’t survive long. Instead of treating them on a lower scale, it is important to treat them equally. Greet them, respect them! 

When they go back to their kids after a tiring day, they should not look at them and feel that my kid should not be me. When a driver joins hands with an organization it is important for them to train and educate the driver about the road dimensions and teach them the use of technology. No shortcuts, but a  driver lesson routine should be followed in the organization and the results should be tracked. Treat the drivers as employees, and reward them for their skills from time to time. They deserve the recognition too, these acts can help them to focus and grow with their skills even more and follow all the road safety protocols. 

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