CRUSADER FOR ROAD SAFETY : AAUI
with Media Spectrum's commitment to ensuring better public
facilities, we bring to our readers greater insight into the
issue of road safety a part of which was covered in the last
the field of automobiles the name of T. K. Malhotra spells
safe driving and better public health through greater awareness
of the issues that plague our roads. T.K. Malhotra, the President
of the Automobile Association of Upper India (AAUI) has been
at the forefront of auto safety and safe driving for more
than 25 years now. The organization headed by Malhotra is
a pioneer of sorts in the field of auto safety in this country.
Immediately after partition, inspired by Dr. Rajendra Prasad,
the late President of India, a serious thought was given by
some of our senior government officers and other Social luminaries
to establish a rudimentary Automobile Organisation in Northern
India to acquire membership of Alliance Internationale De
Tourisme (AIT) and for attending to the problems connected
with the automobiles, road tax and other aspects of the life
on the roads. This movement was initially spearheaded by late
Shri V Shankar, ICS. It was Shri Shankar whose active interest
in creating a safe environment on the roads led to the creation
of Automobile Association of Upper India in 1950. AAUI has
been actively pursuing its aims for the past five decades
in collaboration with the automobile industry, well-wishers
and a host of other leaders in the civil society. AAUI aims
to promote, encourage and develop the Automobile Movement
in the area of its operations and watch, support, protect,
extend and defend the rights of its members and to procure
for their benefit special advantages and concessions. AAUI
aims to achieve al this by maintaining harmonious relations
with the local government, the police, municipal and other
authorities and bodies to watch carefully the local administration
of all laws and regulations affecting the use of motor vehicles,
to take any necessary action in these matters, and to promote
and inculcate generally the principles of sanctity and safety
of life and property by persons entrusted with the use or
control of motor vehicles. AAUI also does a useful work on
the roads to ensure lawful traffic movement; erection of direction
signs and danger signals, upkeep and widening and improvement
of roads, bridges and ferries are some of the works that AAUI
has done consistently for the betterment of roads. Apart from
these AAUI also endeavors to disseminate information concerning
better driving and auto-safety across the community of auto
users and helps in the maintenance and running of road services,
ambulance services, first aid services and battery services.
AAUI runs a modern scientific Driving Training School at its
establishment where electronic simulators are used for imparting
training to the members desirous of learning car driving.
A unique facility provided by the School is the "Reflexive
Testing Machine" which tests the reflexive capacity of
the formerly Automobile Organization of Northern India, AAUI
too is a constituent member of the AIT. The AIT has a consultative
status with the Economic and Social Council of the United
Nations (ECOSOC) and with the Council of Europe. AIT is concerned
with the promotion of tourism; road transport and traffic
transport, traffic problems, etc., throughout the world. AAUI
represents India in AIT. In recognition of AAUI's service
in the field of road safety, the World Management Committee
of the AIT held its 95th International Conference in Delhi
during the violent and difficult days of 20-25th March, 1993.
Federation of Indian Automobile Associations and the AAUI
were the hosts for the conference. Delegates from more than
60 countries participated in the conference whose execution
attracted widespread appreciation from both governmental and
non-governmental quarters. It was in this meeting that Mr.
T K Malhotra was nominated as the Honorary Vice President
of the AIT, Geneva, Switzerland. Mr. Malhotra has campaigned
for safe roads and safer driving practices not just through
his organization; he also tries to create awareness among
the people through regular writings and other public engagements.
He is a regular contributor to leading newspapers and has
produced two highly acclaimed TV serials for Doordarshan (Metro)
called "Road Watch" and "Hello Motorist".
Mr. Malhotra has exercised his authority in several high power
decision making bodies in the country as well. His and his
Organization's opinions are valued by the Ministry of Surface
Transport, the Central Traffic Advisory Committee and the
FICCI Committee on Tourism. Mr. Malhotra has also written
a very useful and albeit different book on safe driving on
roads titled "All you need to know about Cars and Safe
Driving". Since most of the literature on automobiles
emphasizes the technical side of driving and the mean machines
neglecting their social aspect and impact, Malhotra's book
tried to fill that crucial gap by providing the reader with
information that he or she can use to utilize the vehicle
Readers willing to learn more about the activities of the
AAUI can contact:
Qutab Institutional Area,
Behind Qutab Hotel,
New Delhi-110 016.
Citizens get tips on safe driving
News Service, New Delhi 1 January 10
Association of Upper India (AAUI) organized a workshop on
traffic rules for senior citizens on Friday.
Dr. P P Kotwal of AIIMS explained the various problems which
elderly drivers may encounter and outlined the necessary precautions.
"If accident is the disease then education is the vaccine,"
(Traffic) M K Meena explained the various traffic rules and
identified the 10 "black spots" which witness the
maximum number of accidents. These include ISBT, Majnu Ka
Tila, Sarai Kale Khan, Hotel Hyatt, Ashram Chowk, Nigam Bodh
Ghat, Bhajanpura, Mayapuri, Mukarba Chowk and AIIMS.
DCP explained the different steps that his department is taking
to improve traffic flow. He also added that women traffic
personnel would be deployed on the city roads.
Traffic awareness campaigns should not be one-week affair
but should be carried out through out the year, the DCP said,
adding that he was in touch with officials of RWAs and DTC
in this regard.
K Malhotra, President,AAUI, underlined the importance of preventing
road accidents while Lt. Col. J R Kochhar, Secretary, AAUI,
appealed to the senior citizens to take extra precaution while
event coincided with the "Road Safety Week" being
observed by the Delhi Traffic Police from January 5-11. As
part of the event, Delhi Traffic Police had declared Friday
as a challan-free day. Instead of fining and serving notices
to errant drivers, traffic officials asked motorists to take
a pledge to observe traffic rules.
A CAR? START A DRIVING SCHOOL
TRAINERS SHOW IT'S THAT EASY
Pooja Kumar, New Delhi, February
hoarding a top the Rawat Motors repair shop in Vasant Kunj
reads "Buy and sell old cars" but a signboard resting
on the ground says "Car chalana seekhein." Like
the hundreds of unregistered driving schools all over the
city, the owners of this shop too have adopted driving classes
and licence-making as a side business.
the Motor Vehicle Act of 1989, every driving school needs
a licence from the State Transport Authority (STA) but only
83 such schools in Delhi have one.
that the Act says all driving schools should have dual contraol
systems, blackboards, traffic sign charts and books, no one
even knows how many schools exist.
employee at Rawat Morots says : For Rs. 1,400/- we will get
you a licence, Pay Rs. 200/- extra if you don't have proof
of address. All you have to do is come to the Authority twice
and sign." What about the tests? "Don'tworry, what
are we charging you for? He says reassuringly.
Sarojini Nagar, Raju Motor Training School is still operating
though the STA cancelled its licence in October 2002.
training boards to fit atop cars can also be seen near a juice
shop and grocery store outside R K Puram's Sangam Cinema.
A shopowner says: "They have been here foir over four
A driving school should have sufficient financial resources.
The Motor Vehicles Act also says that each instructor should
have a certificate in motor mechanics or mechanical engineering.
But at none of the make shift schools, like Anuj Motor Driving
school in Vasant Kunj, are these norms followed, Owner Ram
Karan Yadav says: " We charge Rs. 1,100 for the 15-days
classes and Rs 1,200 for licence."
The manager of Shiva Motor Driver Training School, one of
the few affiliated with STA, Says there's no way one can avoid
the practical examination, "We cannot get you a license
illegally," He says.
R. Meena, STA Joint Commissioner, sys:"Two years ago,
a drive against unauthorised schools found that many instructors
Following the drive, 61 school instructors were trained by
the Automobile Association of Upper India and Institute of
of Driver Training Research for five days, while no drivers
have been undertaken since then, many schools have also not
applied for renewal of STA's five-year license.
STA Commissioner Rajiv Talwar says "Regular checks and
awarwness are needed to rein in these driving schools and
ensure that people don't approach them.
* The automobile Association of Upper India(AAUI)
conducts a 21 day course, which includes six days on simulators
that help one learn to drive at night and in fog and rain.
Six days are spent on road. T K Malhotra, AAUI President,
says :"When we conducted the training, the driving schools
were initially reluctant to join."
study on more than 15,000 commercial vehicle drivers is disturbing:
most drivers have poor reflex, no idea of traffic rules
Driving for Test finds less than 20 PC BUS, TRUCK DRIVER'SAFE'
Pooja Kumar, New Delhi, March1
Brijesh Bhushan has been driving a chartered bus from Noida
to Connaught Place for the past 20 years. Sitting in a truck
Simulator at the Automobile Association of Upper India (AAUI),
he flunks the STOP test though a recorded message repeatedly
warns him. "If I stop, how will I get through the traffic?"
he asks the AAUI instructor.
Truck Simulator, which can go up to a speed of 120 KM, consists
of monitors, which show the speed, use of controls and the
facial expression of the driver in different conditions like
fog, rain, darkness and slopes.
Bhushan, over 15,000 commercial vehicle drivers have been
included in an AAUI study -'Psychological Aptitude of Drivers
for Developing Driving Skills and the results are disturbing
- only 18.17% of truck and bus drivers can be called "safe
the first time, reflexes of drivers have also been tested.
Even after allowing for failure in one of the six reflex tests,
24.37% ended up in the "unsafe driver" group.
his 20 years as a bus driver, Bhushan had never undergone
training before joining the two-day refresher course now mandatory
for commercial drivers at AAUI or the Institute of Road Training
Education, Loni. AAUI Secretary, Lt. Col. J R Kochhar, says:
"Our pass rate is around 60%, but to achieve that we
had to lower the bar. Otherwise, very few would have cleared
5.12% drivers were graded below average and 19.25% as average
in the reflexes test, which is used to evaluate side vision,
glare recovery, night vision, simple reaction time, complex
reaction time and depth perception. AAUI President T K Malhotra
says "We are proposing that reflex tests be made mandatory
in driving tests for commercial vehicle drivers."
on their driving skills through a truck simulator, only 18.17%
of the over 15,000 truck, bus, carrier and other commercial
vehicle drivers evaluated between August, 2002 and October
2003 earned the "Above Average" tag.
is not surprised. "Since most of these drivers have graduated
from being a helper, they have no understanding of traffic
rules or road signs. They just paid for their licenses, "