A global competition held to crowd source innovations that enhance road safety

India has the worst road traffic accident rate on earth. Every year, the country claims more than 10 percent of the world’s 1.24 million victims of road crashes, collisions, and other incidents, according to the World Health Organization. Last year, nearly 44 percent of the India’s 130,000 road deaths were recorded at junctions lacking traffic lights or traffic police.

Three road safety entrepreneurs have been selected as winners in the innovation challenge “Safer Roads, Safer India: Game Changing Innovations that Save Lives.” Their projects were evaluated by an expert panel of judges and chosen as the top solutions from a pool of more than 80 entries. These entries met the goals of activating citizenship, improving governance to be more responsive, updating infrastructure, and using technology to protect drivers, passengers, and bystanders.

The Safe Roads, Safer India challenge is part of a pilot being tested across India, with a focus on Bangalore, the country’s third-largest city. It was launched earlier this year to increase public awareness of road safety challenges, crowd-source solutions and accelerate the rate of positive change. This event was conceptualized by UL (Underwriters Laboratories), a premier global independent safety Science Company, and Ashoka, an international network of social entrepreneurs. By bringing together social entrepreneurs and investors, UL and Ashoka piloted the Safer Roads, Safer India campaign to assist road safety innovators scale-up their fixes for social transformation.

The three winning entrepreneurs, who were selected for meeting criteria for innovation, social impact, and sustainability, received INR 300,000 in unrestricted funding to support their road safety innovations. They are the Neighborhood Improvement Plan, Kolkata Emergency Medical System and Service, and Home Safe. Apart from the three winning entries, the Bangalore people’s choice award was awarded to Positive Strokes by the residents of Bangalore through an SMS campaign, held from Sept. 1–10. The winning associations hope to make small but significant changes to the existing road traffic challenges.

Additional information about the competition can be found at changemakers.com/safe roads