FIA and Steelbird collaborate to promote road safety
The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) has teamed up with Indian Helmet manufacturer Steelbird Hi-Tech India Ltd. for its Safe & Affordable Helmet Programme, which aims to provide quality and affordable helmets to those who avoid buying one because of high purchase costs and hot climate.
The FIA's safety department was tasked with introducing a motorcycle helmet that meets UN safety standards, is comfortable to wear in hot and humid climates, and is available at a target selling price of around 20 USD (Rs 1500). The global road safety programme will contribute to reducing motorcycle related fatalities.
Steelbird Hi-Tech India Ltd. is one of Asia's largest helmet manufacturers. The brand has 6 manufacturing plants across India and a capacity to make 22,000 helmets per day. They have been chosen by the FIA because of their manufacturing capacity, vast distribution network, high quality and affordable range of helmets. The main aim of this programme is to provide high quality helmets meeting United Nations Regulation 22.05 in those territories in the world, which face problems with low manufacturing quality in their local market.
A total of 4.2 lakh helmets are planned to be made every year, with Steelbird supplying 2.4 lakh of them. With a donation of five thousand helmets, the project recently also received support from the Keep Fighting Foundation, founded by Michael Schumacher’s family.
On the occasion, FIA President, Jean Todt said, “Wearing a helmet is a key issue in road safety. I am happy to welcome Steelbird as a new partner of our Safe & Affordable Helmet initiative. In view of the many qualities of the Indian manufacturer, I am convinced that this collaboration will contribute to the success of our international initiative. Steelbird is committed to offering high quality helmets at an affordable price which will help in mass adoption of the helmets in those regions of the world where it is more needed."
To which Rajeev Kapur, MD, Steelbird added, “We are proud of our association with FIA as we have out beaten other players globally. Moreover, this tie-up also proposes an immense opportunity to step up the safety measures in those areas and zones which remain untouched or low on road safety standards. The territories have been identified by FIA with the objective of increasing the use of helmets while riding two-wheeler without compromising safety. As a brand we have worked very hard over the years to not only build our distribution network but also to deliver quality and safety to the riders.”
Research shows that wearing a helmet is one of the most effective road safety interventions, it reduces the number of head injuries among moped and bike riders by around 44 per cent. India is infamous across the world for the sheer amount of road accidents that occur on a daily basis. Strict helmet usage still isn’t enforced in many of our cities and we hope that changes in the foreseeable future, along with better road infrastructure to minimise the fatal impact of accidents.