The Prince Michael Award recognizes outstanding contributors to improving road safety

Shell India and VisionSpring announced that #DriveSafeIndia, a programme to provide screening and eyeglasses to more than 350 thousand commercial drivers and allied transportation workers across India, has been awarded the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award. The award recognises outstanding achievement and innovation world-wide towards improving road safety. The programme has already screened the vision of 97,000 people in 40 cities and towns across India.

Nitin Prasad, Chairman, Shell Companies in India, said: “We are honoured and humbled to receive this prestigious award that recognizes the significant progress we have made, and the focus we put on safety each and every day throughout our operations. Almost 75% of road fatalities in India are attributed to driver error. The #DriveSafeIndia programme is a step forward in the right direction to create safer drivers across the country. The award does not belong to us alone, it belongs to every single one of the driver and transportation worker who walked into that camp and said ‘yes’ to safety and saving lives. We will continue building on the positive feedback and expand our road safety initiatives to benefit more road users.”

The Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards have recognised outstanding achievement and innovation in the UK and across the world since 1987.

Congratulating the winners, HRH Prince Michael of Kent said: “You have been judged by your peers to be amongst a unique group who are committed to improving the safety of those who travel on the world’s roads.”

In the programme assessment conducted amongst 385 drivers, 83% drivers in glasses reported ‘no difficulty’ in being able to identify moving objects such as people and animals in low light conditions, an 144% increase from just 34% drivers prior to screening. Further, 85% drivers shared that after getting glasses they had ‘no difficulty’ in judging speed and distance of vehicles coming from the opposite direction, up from only 37% of drivers without glasses which signifies a 130% increase.

“We are truly honoured to receive this award”, said Ella Gudwin, VisionSpring CEO. “Sometimes solutions to complicated problems like road safety are sitting, quite literally, right in front of our eyes. In this case, vision screening and eyeglasses are a simple, scalable solution that enables drivers to see hazards on the road. More importantly, we are reaching people who have never had a vision test before. In fact, 67% of participants are acquiring their very first pair of glasses through the programme. Now, they can see well to stay safe.”

After getting glasses for the first time in their lives, 76% of the drivers surveyed in the study articulated that driving safely and optimal job performance would be the most important results of their new clear vision. The assessment underscores the need for proactive interventions that effectively increase eyeglasses utilization among drivers in need of vision correction.