Did you know that India is the largest two-wheeler market in the world? In 2017-18, over 20 million two-wheelers were sold in the country. Before you celebrate, here are some grim facts. According to a report by the Transport Research Wing of the Ministry of Road Surface and Highways, amongst all the vehicle categories, two-wheelers accounted for the highest share in total number of road accidents (33.8 percent) in 2016. Road users on two-wheelers are the most vulnerable, constituting 34.8 percent of total people killed in 2016. Out of total of 52,500 two-wheeler riders killed in road accidents during the calendar year, 10,135 two-wheeler riders (19.3 per cent) were reported not wearing helmets.
#Helmetforlife is an ongoing multi-city initiative by Suzuki Motorcycles to promote the usage of helmets in India.
To address the problem, Suzuki Motorcycle India recently launched its #HelmetForLife campaign. With its range of bikes forming a large and diverse consumer base, Suzuki is committed to improving the safety of two-wheeler riders through this initiative. Its objective is to create awareness amongst riders, in cities with the highest number of fatalities, on the importance of wearing a helmet. Suzuki collaborated with the traffic police of these cities to spread the #HelmetForLife message and encourage the adoption of this safe riding practice. The campaign was set to roll out across 13 cities in India – Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Surat, Bengaluru, Calicut, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kozhikode, Kolkata and Lucknow.
Satoshi Uchida, MD, and Sajeev Rajasekharan, EVP, Suzuki Motorcycle India flagging off the campaign at the Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Garima Bhatnagar’s office in New Delhi.
At the launch of this event on June 18, 2018, Suzuki Executive VP, Sales & Marketing, Mr. Sajeev Rajasekharan, along with other top management representatives of the company, gave away the keys of five Suzuki Gixxer motorcycles to KK Rao, Commissioner of Police, Gurugram at an event organised at the Commissioner’s office. The bikes sported police colours and were fitted with all the required accessories. Police departments of each of the cities hosting the campaign will get five similar bikes to help the city police in their patrol duties.
A rider and his family, all without helmets, are flagged down by a police officer. The child’s position in front of the rider is also extremely unsafe.
Most importantly, Suzuki teams fanned-out across these cities to flag down riders without helmets. While they were penalised by the traffic police, they were also told about the importance of wearing a helmet; and if they didn’t have a helmet, Suzuki gave them a free full-face helmet to encourage them to follow this basic safety norm. So far, over 23,000 helmets have been distributed in eight cities and the campaign has reached out to millions more riders across the country. Suzuki hopes that this exercise will influence every rider to wear a helmet and take responsibility of their safety seriously.
Five senior traffic police officers in Kozhikode were given new specially kitted Gixxer bikes for official use.
So far, nine cities have been covered in this initiative. Here’s a look at the on-ground activity to encourage each and every rider to don and secure their helmets, every time they ride.