When you’re out on the road driving, or riding, you must have realized that most of the road users in our country are oblivious to what’s happening around. Time and again, you might have also wondered as to what’s the reason behind this attitude of drivers/riders of our country. Now a recent survey by Honda two-wheelers shows us the underlying problem with the motorists – or in this case, motorcylists - in India.
Called the Honda 2Wheelers Road Sign IQ survey, and the findings are quite alarming to say the least. As per Honda, over 78% of the two-wheeler riders in India don’t recognize even half the road-signs! But this is a consolidated data for the country. If we talk of specific cities, Mumbai emerged as the most aware city with 79% riders identifying more than half the road signs. Cities like Pune at 63% and Bengaluru at 41% also have relatively aware motorcyclists. That said, the survey notes that nearly 80% of Indian riders are still unaware about the difference between cautionary and mandatory road signs.
Honda’s recent survey also shows that Indian women are more road-sign literate than their male counterparts - 26% of women interviewed recognized half the road signs as compared to 21% despite the fact there’re way more male riders on the road. Another surprising finding from the survey was that within the age groups, 20 to 24 year riders are most aware of the road signs with 31% recognizing half the signs. Between 25 and 44 age bracket only 18% could identify half the road signs, while 30% of those over 45 of years were also able to identify half the signs.
Coming to helmet usage, 63% of the riders interviewed said that they wear helmet for their own safety, while a mere 16% admitted they wear a helmet to avoid fines. On family insistence, another 16% wear helmets. The shocking bit, however, is that most Indian riders understand importance of a helmet only when they themselves ride a two-wheeler. Which means over 55% riders risk their lives by not wearing helmet when they are pillions. The survey also shows that 51% of riders interviewed have claimed that neither have they been fined nor did they jump a red light in 2016. Over 30% riders, however, admitted to red light jumping 1-2 times a week.
Commenting on the findings of the survey, Mr. Yadvinder Singh Guleria, Senior Vice President - Sales and Marketing, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India, said “Two-wheelers account of the highest fatalities (31.5%) due to road accidents in the country. With a new two-wheeler coming on Indian roads every 2 seconds, ‘Safety for Everyone’ is Honda’s priority as a responsible corporate. Honda Road Sign IQ survey re-affirms that there is an urgent need to invest in behavioural change in Indian mindsets through road safety education. We have already educated over 10 lac people on road safety in India at Honda’s 11 adopted traffic parks across India. A sizable 38% of these are kids as Honda aims to mould youth of today into responsible road users of tomorrow. Post this survey, Honda is committed to intensifying its road safety initiatives with special focus on children and empowering women who are the conscience keepers of every family.”
Now as alarming as these stats are, road safety awareness is something that needs to be inculcated in two-wheeler riders in India. Honda says that it’s engaged over 24,000 people across 250 cities in its bid to make road users more aware as a part of its road-safety campaign. And that’s actually the need of the hour because if a motorist is not able to tell between a right and a wrong sign, how do you think he-/she’s going to follow it?
Also read: The importance of seat belts and child seats