Under the tri-series on “Road Safety Advocacy’’, Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association/Indian Tyre Technical Advisory Committee (ATMA/ITTAC) along with Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) organized the first edition on ‘Tyre Care and Road Safety’, on a virtual platform to spread awareness about tyre maintenance and its crucial role in safe driving.

The prominent leaders participated in the session and discussed issues on safety, included Dr S S Gupta, Sr. Development Officer, DPIIT, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Mr Anshuman Singhania, Chairman, ATMA, Mr Prashant K Banerjee, Executive Director, SIAM, Mr Rajesh Menon Director General, SIAM, Mr Rajiv Budhraja, Director General, ATMA, Mr V K Misra, Past Chairman, ITTAC & Technical Director, JK Tyre & Industries, Mr Sudershan Gusain, Sr. Dy. General Manager, Bridgestone India, Mr B V Shamsundara, Deputy Director (SHL), ARAI, Mr Ravin Kurian, Chairman, ITTAC & Sr. General Manager, MRF, Mr Deepak Sawkar, Senior Advisor, Maruti Suzuki  and Mr Harjeet Singh, Chairman, SIAM Two Wheeler Group & Executive Adviser- Technical, Hero Motocorp.

According to data, 70 per cent deaths are in the age group of 18 to 45 years old and there are 415 deaths per day in road accidents in India. Talking about the accidents, Hon’ble Minister Sh Nitin Gadkari recently commented: the road accident scenario ‘more serious’ in India than Covid-19 with 415 deaths daily.  India is ranked top in the road accidents in the world, ahead of US and China.

“Road safety and tyres are very closely related. Under the tri-series jointly organized with ATMA, the first series focuses on tyre and road safety, second on technology and environmental issues, and third on standards, regulations and sustainability”, said Mr Prashant K Banerjee, executive director, SIAM. “Tyres are the most critical safety component for a vehicle and road safety and are one of the highly regulated automotive components. There have been a lot of discussions within the automobile industry on how can we localize the various components that we import. Tyres and natural rubber are amongst the major components. We are in the process of finalizing our localization roadmap for Indian automobile industry and look forward to sustained engagement pertaining to the same”, added Mr Rajesh Menon, Director General, SIAM.

In his inaugural address, Mr Anshuman Singhania, Chairman, ATMA & MD, JK Tyre & Industries said, “Tyre industry in India has all along understood the need for safety and has been constantly upgrading for promoting sustainable mobility. It has been our consistent effort to ensure that tyres are central to all discussion about road safety, fuel efficiency, rider handling, etc. Tyres are one of the most neglected parts of vehicles, but awareness is now growing. Road safety revolves around 3Es – education, engineering and enforcement and I would urge the industry to organise more such programs to educate the wider audience.”

Guest of honour, Dr S S Gupta, Sr. Development Officer, DPIIT, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, “This program on awareness about tyre care and road safety is very timely and relevant. The issues related to the tyre industry are being taken care continuously by the DPIIT under Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Various interventions have been initiated by the Department, including the one on Import Policy which brought tyres from free import category to restricted category, giving a boost to the domestic industry. These initiatives will lead to Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat, while promoting local manufacturing of tyres.”

According to Mr Rajiv Budhraja, Director General, ATMA, tyre has been the most regulated yet neglected auto component, and data substantiates that tyre care is lacking globally. I firmly believe these awareness and education initiatives will herald a new era of raising awareness and imparting education on the aspect of tyre safety through this tri lecture series especially in this digital world.”

Rash driving, low inflation and potholes are considered to be the major reasons for quick wearing out of tyres, and road hazards, inflation pressure, tyre section height and structure are important parameters for understanding quality of tyres, pointed out Mr Ravin Kurian, about safety, durability and failure analysis of tyres.

The interactive session held amongst speakers focused on the pivotal role of tyres in road safety being the only point of contact between the vehicle and the road.