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Maruti Suzuki urges all car occupants to wear the seat belt

New Delhi, November 28, 2017: Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL), the country’s leading passenger vehicle manufacturer, has unveiled a social campaign (#PehniKya?) across India to promote use of seat belt in cars and enhance the safety of all occupants.

Only 25% of car occupants wear the seat belt regularly, according to a latest research survey conducted across 17 Indian cities, commissioned by MSIL. According to the survey, use of seat belt is high in a few cities where enforcement is stringent, and appallingly low in the rest of the country.

Besides weak enforcement, the key reasons for not wearing a seat belt include lack of awareness of its benefits, the fear that wearing a seat belt will “negatively affect image”, that friends and family "do not wear it” and that it “ruins clothes”.

Managing Director & CEO of Maruti Suzuki, Mr. Kenichi Ayukawa said: “The Indian Government is taking several measures to bring down accident fatalities and make roads safer for vehicle occupants and pedestrians. We support these efforts. Seat belt is a primary safety system in a car and several studies show that its regular use can bring down injuries and fatalities in road accidents. Through our social campaign, PehniKya, we want to persuade car users to follow this simple safety step.”

He added: “Based on the findings of our research, we believe that an effective communication campaign across platforms, together with strict enforcement, will convince car users to make seat belt use a habit and support the government’s efforts for road safety.”

As more and more passenger vehicles come equipped with airbags to meet advanced safety norms laid down by the government, the use of seat belt becomes even more critical for safety. If an occupant is not wearing a seat belt, an airbag may cause more harm in the event of a crash.

Data collated by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) shows that non-wearing of seat belts was reported in 5638 accident deaths in the country in 2016. According to World Health Organization (WHO), seat belts are the primary restraint system that can reduce the risk of fatality by 45-60%.

The 360 degree social campaign will be across platforms including television, radio, and digital and on ground events.

About #PehniKya?

#PehniKya? a 360 degree campaign aims to educate passenger vehicle users about the importance of seat belts and its crucial role in preventing road fatalities and injuries. Through the campaign, Maruti Suzuki will sensitize people and break myths around seat belt usage. The messages will address concerns and reasons around seat belt usage, encouraging a positive behavioral change amongst car occupants. To create high impact, the campaign will leverage a variety of platforms including Television, Print, Radio, Digital and on-ground activations. In its first phase the campaign will cover 8 cities across India. Cities include Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Kolkata, Nagpur and Indore.

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