|New Delhi, December 20th, 2008: In yet another significant initiative towards `Road Safety' car market leader Maruti Suzuki India Limited today signed an MoU with Government of Uttarakhand to set up, manage and run Uttarakhand's first and only Motor Driving Institute (UMDI) at Jhajra village in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
The MoU was signed by Mr Shinzo Nakanishi, Managing Director and CEO, Maruti Suzuki India Limited and Dr Umakant Panwar, Transport Secretary, Government of Uttarakhand, in the presence of the Chief Minister Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri, Chief Minister Uttarakhand, Mr Banshidhar Bhagat, State Transport Minister and Senior State government officials and dignitaries.
The Uttarakhand Motor Driving Institute is the flagship corporate social responsibility initiative of Maruti Suzuki that works on the principle of public private partnership and has seen active involvement of many State Governments in recent years.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister, Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri, Chief Minister Uttarakhand said, "Studies have indicated that driver's fault is one of the main causes of road accidents with proper driving training, I am sure such road accidents can be reduced. We have chosen Maruti Suzuki as they are renowned and have vast experience in running such training institutes. I am sure this institute will help reduce road accidents."
On the occasion Mr. Shinzo Nakanishi Managing Director and CEO, Maruti Suzuki said, "We feel proud to be associated with Government of Uttarakhand for this unique initiative. Road safety is our flagship CSR initiative and we are happy to have a partner in Uttarakhand Government in this endeavor. As a subject, Road Safety is very vast and requires many more hands. It requires an integrated approach of different stakeholders such as public, vehicle manufacturers, government, civil society etc. Inculcating Safer Driving practices through different formats like IDTR's and Maruti Driving Schools is a small step in that direction by Maruti Suzuki. I am confident our initiatives towards road safety will have an impact on the society and make the roads safer".
"I am doubly excited that this project would also enhance employability of unemployed youth." he added.
In addition to imparting motor driving skills and technical training to the public, UMDI Uttarakhand would also assist, advice and support the State Government in activities that contribute to safety on roads and facilitate in improving the transport system in the State. Spread over sprawling four hectares the state-of the-art facility would also offer residential accommodation to the trainees. Located on Chakrata Road, the institute will offer class room training as well as test tracks for enhancing driving skills. Maruti Suzuki will bring in advanced training module that is based on international lines. An advanced Driving Simulator will help impart training in safe environment.
This is Maruti Suzuki's sixth such initiative after success of two Institutes at Delhi, closely followed by two institutes in Haryana and a similar initiative in Gujarat. While the company's Delhi institutes are operational, the Haryana and Gujarat institutes are in advanced stages of readiness and will be formally opened in coming weeks.
Road Safety & Maruti Suzuki
Maruti Suzuki has been playing a leading role for many years now in promoting road safety and safe driving in the country. The first IDTR was started in 2000 at Delhi with the state government.
While the boom in the auto sector and improved state and national highways are encouraging developments, increased vehicular congestion have become subjects of concern. Many State Governments therefore, have expressed the need of a facility that trains people scientifically and promotes Safe Driving.
Institute of Driving Training and Research
Today, Maruti Suzuki manages two Institute of Driving Training & Research (IDTR) in Delhi in collaboration with the state transport department of the Delhi Government. In addition, the company runs 47 Maruti Driving Schools across country with its dealer partners.
The first major effort in promoting road safety was in the year 2000 when Delhi Government invited Maruti to manage the Institute of Driving Training and Research (IDTR) and start driving training courses. Maruti introduced training facilities and infrastructure including world-class driving test tracks, advanced computer simulators and training modules as per international standards at the institute which is spread over an area of 14.6 acre. Regular research in road safety and safe driving was also started at the institute. In 2006, the second IDTR was set up to promote road safety by primarily targeting non-commercial drivers and impart driving training to them. This institute is also equipped with the same facilities and infrastructure as made available in the first IDTR.
The pioneering work and infrastructure of the IDTRs has caught the attention of the government and general public alike. Today, several government departments and agencies have made it mandatory for their drivers to undergo periodic skill training and evaluation at IDTR. Delhi Government has laid down that commercial vehicle drivers seeking to renew their driving licence need a certification. So far, the first IDTR at Loni, Wazirabad, (North Delhi) has trained and evaluated about 400,000 people, predominantly commercial drivers.
Maruti Driving Schools
Maruti has also involved its dealers across country in a big way in promoting road safety and safe driving. In collaboration with them, the company has set up 47 Maruti Driving Schools in 43 different locations across the country. These schools are equipped with the world class, state of the art driving simulators. Over 41,000 people have been trained so far of which 50% are women learners.