Education is the key to a bright and sustainable future. It is no different when it comes to the roads and safety. Maruti Suzuki and Autocar India have been actively encouraging youngsters from all across India to become better drivers through the Young Driver contest.
Now in its fifth year, the contest has helped reach out to and engage with the next generation of drivers. The need for safer, more responsible driving clearly resonates with the youth of India as the 2013 edition received nearly 50,000 entries for the first stage! Online tests were followed by simulator tests at Maruti Driving Schools and this whittled the numbers down to the top 28. For the ultimate test all the Young Driver finalists were brought onto one stage at the Institute of Driving and Traffic Research in Delhi.
At the end of the day the experienced instructors of IDTR had judged the abilities of each Young Driver and scored him or her according to their performance. The wait for the evening ceremony seemed almost interminable for all the Young Drivers. Finally, for Smruti Ranjan Das from Bhubaneshwar the adventure that started in May came to a grand conclusion as he was crowned Young Driver 2013.
Smruti had gingerly driven through the deceptive course at the IDTR. The slow speeds and plain tasks made it seem tame. However, the tight track stressed on awareness of surrounding environment and car control. The Young Drivers were also evaluated on their knowledge of the machine and the necessary checks before driving. On the narrow track the Young Drivers had to be extra careful as nudging a cone took away points from the final score.
Tanmay Kumar from Gurgaon was adjudged second runner up and Himanshu Gupta from Thane came in as the first runner up. Charbi Batra from Jaipur was the winner in the women's category. As for those of us reading this, let us cheer all the Young Drivers towards many safe and enjoyable years of motoring as they spread the word of responsible driving even further!