We all know that exercising safety while riding keeps everyone on the road safe — you, other riders, drivers, and pedestrians. But did you know that safe riding behaviour can lead to reduced number of people being killed and injured on our roads every year.
It is no surprise to any of us that in India, highway discipline is something we lack. Be it truckers driving without headlights or motorcyclists without safety riding gear, we have many such accident prone pilots on our roads.
The Tusker H.O.G. Chapter's latest initiative 'Road Safety Starts With You' was one such initiative that seeks to spread that basic awareness that we require more of. The chapter organised a ride from Bangalore to Kolhapur (to and fro 1300 km) to promote that very belief — safety on the road, begins and ends with you.
The ride saw nearly 30 Harley riders from Bangalore roaring the highway with a singular thought — follow traffic rules, always, respect each other and ultimately, share the road.
Did the Harley group from Bangalore succeed in propagating this message?
For decades, the Indian trucking industry has played a major role in the country's trade and commerce. The highways are usually jam-packed with these trucks and according to the latest statistics, there are over 1400 trucks per million population which run close to 75,000 kilometres per annum. A large majority of highway accidents, unfortunately, involve trucks.
The riders from Tusker H.O.G. Chapter managed to get the attention of quite a few truckers and also educated the drivers about the usage of reflective tapes and maintaining lane discipline. It has been proven that 95% of rear or side collisions could be reduced by using reflective tapes, which provide long distance and wide angle truck visibility all day through night.
Together with the Seven Islands (Mumbai H.O.G. Chapter) and the Tusker H.O.G. Chapter (Goa), the trio kick started their joint mission to educate the masses on the importance of road safety. On reaching Kolhapur, the group strength had rounded off to about 100 riders, including 30 from Bangalore, 30 from Mumbai, and 20 from Goa.
The expert riders from Bangalore, Mumbai and Goa continued the road safety initiative on the streets of Kolhapur. The shiny chrome, thundering exhaust and tattooed riders holding road safety placards caught the attention of locals too.
The riders were invited to Padmashree Dr. D.Y. Patil and Hon. Dr. Sanjay Patil's residence, courtesy of Farooq Ahmed, Director of Tusker H.O.G. Chapter, in coordination with the Sayaji Group of Hotels staff.
Dr. D.Y. Patil is an educator and a leader of the Indian National Congress, Maharashtra state. The ex-governor of Bihar was quick to share his delight with respect to the turnout and the manner in which the road safety message was conveyed to the masses.
He even suggested that the H.O.Gs. replicate the road safety initiative to a national level with the help of Ministry of Road Transport and Highways for which talks are underway.
The biggest take away from the initiative was that enjoying your ride doesn't mean that you break the rules. Following traffic rules eliminates all the avoidable mishaps and thus makes your ride on Indian roads all the more enjoyable. Now who wouldn't love an accident-free ride?
While I'm sure we all have bad boys (and girls) rummaging through our systems, waiting to burst onto the road in characteristic rider style, the H.O.G. Chapters remind us that it is perhaps time to inculcate a habit of sharing the road and giving way to smooth and respectful riding.
We at DriveSpark commend the efforts by the hoggers and urge H.O.Gs. and other motorcycling communities to take this to a national level and spread the awareness of road safety. It can only help us all.
Tusker H.O.G. Chapter, Bangalore got the dice rolling...is the rest of the motorcycling community listening?