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Road Safety Meets Sustainability: An interview with SafetyConnect's CEO

09:10 PM Jul 01, 2023 IST | Wahid Bhat
road safety meets sustainability  an interview with safetyconnect s ceo

Road safety and sustainable development are two crucial aspects that intersect in our quest for a safer and more sustainable world. The link between these seemingly distinct concerns has been acknowledged by the United Nations, which has incorporated road safety targets into the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This recognition underscores the significance of creating safer roads as an integral part of sustainable development efforts.

In an exclusive interview with Ground Report, Thanmai Deekshith, the CEO and Founder of SafetyConnect, a leading company dedicated to enhancing road safety and promoting sustainable development, highlighted the significant role that SafetyConnect plays in addressing the interconnected challenges of road safety and sustainable practices.

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At the core of SafetyConnect's mission is the development of innovative solutions that foster a culture of road safety. Their driving safety solution goes beyond reducing road accidents and improving driving habits; it encompasses features that align with sustainable practices, such as analyzing at-risk driving behavior and promoting vehicle maintenance checklists. By integrating these elements, SafetyConnect not only prioritizes the safety of individuals but also contributes to the broader agenda of sustainable development and environmental consciousness.

During the interview, the profound connection between road safety and sustainable development was explored, revealing the pivotal role played by SafetyConnect in addressing these interrelated concerns. The discussion shed light on how the company effectively addresses these issues through its cutting-edge solutions and initiatives.

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Excerpts from the interview

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Q: How does SafetyConnect contribute to the intersection of road safety and sustainable development?

A: I think road safety and sustainable development often seem to be unconnected and unrelated concerns at first look. However, upon closer inspection, it is clear that they are inextricably linked. This critical intersection has been realized by the United Nations as well and Road Safety targets have been included in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Goal no. 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals include the objective to reduce the number of road crashes by 50 percent by 2030.  Goal no. 11 strives to improve road safety and create sustainable transport systems by 2030. So, creating safer roads for everyone is an integral part of sustainable development.

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SafetyConnect is dedicated to reducing road accidents of field employees caused by unsafe driving habits and increasing the adoption of road safety measures. We believe this plays a crucial role in furthering the cause of sustainable development. Our solution also has other features such as the carbon emissions report, that promote sustainable habits amongst large enterprises and their field force.

How has SafetyConnect contributed to improving road safety and promoting sustainable practices?

A: Many of our customers have reported an 80% decrease in road accidents within a year of solution implementation. Additionally, we have worked closely with a Multinational Paint Company, assisting them in achieving a 15% increase in safety scores and an impressive 48% average decrease in At-Risk behaviors within just three months of solution implementation. These achievements highlight the positive impact of our technology in promoting safe driving habits that align with sustainability goals. By addressing risky behaviors such as harsh acceleration and speeding, we not only enhance road safety but also contribute to reducing pollution and fuel consumption. These success stories serve as evidence of our commitment to improving road safety while fostering a culture of sustainability in the communities we serve.

What challenges does SafetyConnect address to achieve road safety and sustainable development goals?

A: According to me, the first and most important challenge or barrier is the lack of prioritization of road safety. Despite being a global menace, people fail to recognize its significance. The same is true for sustainable development as well. Although large enterprises earmark money for safety and sustainability, few actions are taken to address these issues in practice.

At SafetyConnect, we have realized these challenges and have started conversations around road safety and sustainable development. We are actively working with companies to prioritize these issues and align their actions with road safety and sustainable development goals by investing in innovative technology such as ours. Our contributions aim to integrate road safety and sustainable development in both public consciousness and practical action.

How does SafetyConnect's driving safety solution enhance road safety culture and employee well-being?

A: Our Driving Safety Solution examines the driving habits of field employees, identifying risky behaviors and providing effective coaching to improve their skills. The solution offers actionable insights, enabling the organization to roll out necessary interventions and rectify unsafe practices, promoting a culture of safe driving. Gamification elements such as safety scores and leaderboards motivate and encourage employees to adopt safer driving behaviors. Additionally, features like checklists, SOS functionality, and incident reporting provide field employees with protection and security while on the road. These comprehensive measures contribute to promoting a culture of road safety and ensuring the overall well-being of employees.

How does SafetyConnect's technology improve road safety and sustainable practices?

A: Our analysis of at-risk driving behavior offers valuable visibility, prompting employees and organizations to rectify unsafe habits and improve road safety. Behaviors such as harsh acceleration and speeding not only jeopardize safety but also contribute to pollution and increased fuel consumption. By decreasing these habits, we align with the principles of sustainable development. Additionally, SafetyConnect's checklists for vehicle maintenance play a significant role in ensuring road safety and sustainability. Regular vehicle maintenance helps identify and address potential mechanical issues, ensuring that vehicles are in optimal condition for safe drives. Properly maintained vehicles are more fuel-efficient, emit fewer pollutants, and have a lower risk of breakdowns or accidents on the road. By emphasizing the importance of vehicle maintenance through checklists, SafetyConnect promotes sustainable practices and contributes to reducing emissions and resource consumption.

Q: What collaborations or partnerships has SafetyConnect established to further its mission of road safety and sustainable development?

A: SafetyConnect has actively pursued collaborations and partnerships to advance its mission of road safety and sustainable development. The company recognizes the value of collective efforts and the need for shared expertise to drive meaningful change. One of SafetyConnect's notable collaborations is with renowned thought leaders in the industry and notable organizations such as RASTA (Road Safety and Transport Authority). Through these partnerships, SafetyConnect has organized webinars and events focused on raising awareness about critical road safety issues. By bringing together experts and stakeholders, SafetyConnect aims to foster dialogue, share insights, and promote best practices in the field of road safety.

Furthermore, SafetyConnect is actively planning initiatives that specifically promote sustainable development. By joining forces with like-minded organizations, the company seeks to amplify its impact and tackle broader sustainability challenges beyond road safety. These initiatives may include campaigns, projects, or programs that address various aspects of sustainable development, such as environmental conservation, resource management, or community engagement.

Q: How do you see SafetyConnect evolving in the future to align with emerging trends and advancements in technology, transportation, and sustainable practices?

A: We are actively developing new features in our solution and new products to prioritize environmental safety and compliance with environmental regulations. In tandem with the safety requirements of various industries, we are also looking forward to introducing a new line of Process Safety Products soon. In response to the evolving safety requirements of diverse industries, SafetyConnect is constantly innovating its solution. The company is investing in cutting-edge technologies and research to enhance its offerings and cater to the changing needs of the market. By leveraging the power of technology, SafetyConnect aims to provide efficient and effective solutions that address the challenges of road safety and sustainable development.

Q: Are there any specific metrics or indicators that SafetyConnect uses to measure its impact on road safety and sustainable development?

A: To measure our impact on road safety, we rely on three key metrics: reduction in the number of road accidents, decrease in at-risk behavior events, and improvement in safety scores. This gives us an overview of how much our solution has contributed towards mitigating accidents within the organization and enhancing driving safety.

Currently, there are no established measures to evaluate sustainable development. However, our recently launched emission reports feature (CO, CO2, and Fuel consumption) should be able to provide direct metrics to assess effectiveness in the near future.

Q: How does SafetyConnect engage with stakeholders, including employees, customers, and communities, to foster a collective effort towards road safety and sustainable development?

A: We actively engage with stakeholders, including employees, customers, and communities, via informative webinars and sessions. Additionally, our podcast "Unraveling Safety" features industry leaders sharing practical tips on road safety, employee safety, and sustainable development. We have also launched a LinkedIn community called "Safety First" to facilitate dialogue among safety professionals and like-minded individuals. Additional means of communication include newsletters, ebooks, and social media.

Q: What are your aspirations and goals for SafetyConnect in terms of making a lasting impact on road safety and contributing to the broader sustainable development agenda?

A: envision SafetyConnect as an industry leader in road safety and sustainable development, not just for our products but also for the awareness we cultivate. Through our solutions, we aim to assist the UN and India in achieving their goals of reducing road accidents and establishing safer roads and infrastructure. We aspire to expand into other areas of work and make further substantial contributions. Looking ahead, our goals include fostering a lasting impact by continuously innovating and collaborating with stakeholders to create a safer and more sustainable future for all.

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Wahid Bhat

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Wahid Bhat is an accomplished environmental journalist with a passion for covering climate change and environmental issues. He holds a degree from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication and has served as the Media Fellow for NFI India and Thomson Reuters Foundation. Wahid's reporting has been published in a range of respected outlets including Earth Journalism, Global Village Space, The Quint, Youth Ki Awaaz, Devdiscourse, and Kashmir Observer. With an extensive background in the field, Wahid has established himself as a trusted voice in environmental journalism, and his work serves as an important contribution to the conversation around climate change and sustainability. You can follow Wahid on Twitter at @Wahidbhat32.

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