Safer Roads, Safer India: Gamechanging Innovations That Save Lives

Dear Changemakers Community,

Road deaths and injuries are preventable. Yet, India has the highest number of deaths caused by traffic accidents in the world— in 2012 alone, there were 2,10,000 fatalities, according to the World Health Organization. Pedestrians are the most vulnerable. In Bangalore alone, more than 50 per cent of all road fatalities are pedestrians—one pedestrian is killed and four are injured every day. 

UL and Ashoka have partnered to launch Safer Roads, Safer India: Gamechanging Innovations that Save Lives, a competition that is building a network to integrate innovative cultural, technological, social, and governance solutions for safer roads.  Six prizes of INR 300,000 each will be awarded, including one special focus prize awarded to solutions that apply to Bangalore.

We want to hear your ideas for advancing road safety. We are seeking solutions that are focused on, but not limited to, one or more of the following areas:

  • Active Citizenship (e.g., innovative awareness campaigns; empowering citizens to create change)
  • Technology (e.g., safe and affordable vehicles; traffic and safety data tracking)
  • Governance (e.g., laws and regulations; protecting bystanders; improving law enforcement)
  • Infrastructure (e.g., safer road design and planning; improving emergency response)

Are you raising awareness about the dangers of speeding, drunk driving, or motorcycling without a helmet? Are you advancing pedestrian and cyclist-friendly road design or helping to increase access to safe public transportation? Does your initiative improve the enforcement of traffic laws or advocate for public policies that prevent traffic deaths? Enter the competition, and you will also have the opportunity to become part of the road safety network in India that,connects active citizens, social innovators, media partners, policy makers, business leaders, and other key players who are working to transform India’s roads and save lives. 

Citizens, traffic police, lawmakers, city planners, and emergency responders all have a positive role to play. If we work together, we can save lives, prevent injuries, and avoid costly accidents. Enter the competition or spread the word today.

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  • The competition is open to all individuals, organizations, and partnerships from around the world.
  • Entries may originate in any country, but must be relevant or applicable to the Indian context.
  • Idea phase entries are eligible for the Bangalore People’s Choice Idea Prize (see Prizes section for more details). Other prizes will be awarded to initiatives that are beyond the conceptual stage and have demonstrated a proof of impact.
  • Entries must be submitted in English.


  • Six prizes of INR 300,000 each in unrestricted funding to support your innovation. Winners will be selected by an expert panel of judges, based on the criteria of Innovation, Social Impact, and Sustainability, with the exception of the winner of the Bangalore People’s Choice prize, which will be determined by residents of the city of Bangalore via a public SMS vote. One prize will be awarded for each of the following categories:
    • Bangalore People’s Choice Idea Prize: Awarded to the most innovative, early stage initiative that shows great potential for social impact and sustainability. Three finalists will be shortlisted by a team of experts in the field of road safety, and the winner will be selected via SMS voting by the people of Bangalore. The initiative does not have to be based in Bangalore, but the idea must be applicable to the Bangalore context. Safer Roads, Safer India has chosen Bangalore, one of the fastest growing cities in India, as an initial hub for establishing proof of concept for ideas that address road safety in India.
    • Innovation Prize: Awarded to the overall strongest initiative, as selected by the expert panel of judges.
    • Active Citizenship Prize: Awarded to the strongest initiative that works to promote active engagement with road safety from individual citizens, pedestrians, communities, and social networks. Initiatives that use education as a tool to raise awareness and promote engagement qualify for this prize as well.
    • Technology Prize: Awarded to the strongest initiative that leverages technology to improve road safety.
    • Governance Prize: Awarded to the strongest initiative that addresses public policy, legal, and/or regulatory issues in the area of road safety.
    • Infrastructure Prize: Awarded to the strongest initiative that addresses road or administrative infrastructure, emergency care, or financial systems.
  • Early entry prizes: Entries submitted before 5 p.m. IST, April 30, 2014 qualify to win one of two INR 60,000 prizes. Being an Early Entry Prize winner does not preclude entrants in any way from winning the competition, nor guarantee finalist status. All entries will be equally evaluated per the Changemakers criteria at the completion of the entry period.

How to enter:

  • Read these step-by-step instructions or watch this video.
  • For advice on creating a better entry and boosting your chances of winning, read these tips.
  • Please complete the entry form in its entirety and submit by the deadline, 5 p.m. IST, June 4, 2014.

Assessment Criteria

Winners of the Safer Roads, Safer India: Gamechanging Innovations that Save Lives competition will be those that best meet the following criteria:

Innovation: The best entries will be those that demonstrate a substantial difference from other initiatives in the field. Distinctiveness will be given a high ranking by the judges. Innovation does not necessarily involve inventing something entirely new. It may comprise new products or processes, as well as new applications or hybrid combinations of existing tools. Entries should describe how their solutions are driven by original, ground-breaking ideas.

Social Impact: Entries should describe how the innovation advances road safety in India. Entries should reflect an understanding of the systemic barriers within the innovation’s specific context, and should describe how the innovation impacts these barriers. The best solutions will have demonstrated impact, as well as the potential for scaling-up and replication. Entries should explain how the solution measures social impact through both quantitative and qualitative data. (Early stage entries that are eligible for the Bangalore People’s Choice Idea Prize may describe their anticipated social impact.)

Sustainability: Entries should have a clear plan for reaching long-term goals and securing financial backing—they should describe not only how they currently finance their work, but also how they plan to finance it in the future. They should also have a realistic time frame for implementation. The most successful entrants demonstrate that they have strong partnerships and support networks to address on-going needs, and to aid in scalability and the maintenance of a clear financial strategy.

Deadlines and Procedures

Online competition submissions are accepted until 5 p.m., IST June 4, 2014. At any time before this deadline, competition participants are encouraged to revise their entries based on questions and insights that they receive through the Changemakers online discussion. Participation in the conversation enhances an entrant’s prospects in the competition, and provides the community and the judges with an opportunity to understand the entrant’s project more completely.

There are several key stages in the competition:

  • Entry Stage: Beginning March 19, 2014, entries can be submitted until June 4, 2014, 5 p.m. IST . Throughout this stage, anyone can participate in an online review discussion with the entrants.
  • Early Entry Deadline: April 30, 2014, 5 p.m. IST: Entries received by April 30, 2014 are eligible for the Early Entry prize.
  • Entry Deadline: June 4, 2014, 5 p.m. IST
  • Semi-Finalists Announced: June 11, 2014
  • Peer Review: June 11 - June 25, 2014: All semi-finalists will have the opportunity to participate in Peer Review. Following Peer Review, these semi-finalists will have the chance to revise and strengthen their entries, based upon the feedback they received during Peer Review.
  • Entry Revision after Peer Review: June 25 - July 2, 2014
  • Semi-Finalist Judging and Evaluation: July 16 – July 23, 2014
  • Finalists Announced: July 23, 2014
  • Bangalore Prize Voting:  August 20 – September 10, 2014, 5 p.m. IST
  • Winners Announced: September, 2014 (tbd)

Disclaimer—Compliance with Legal Restrictions

Ashoka complies fully with all U.S. laws and regulations, including Office of Foreign Assets Control regulations, export control, and anti-money laundering laws. Any grants will be awarded subject to compliance with such laws. Ashoka will not make any grant if it finds that to do so would be unlawful. This may prohibit awards in certain countries and/or to certain individuals or entities. All recipients will comply with these laws to the extent they are applicable to such recipients. No recipient will take any action that would cause Ashoka to violate any laws. Additionally, Ashoka will not make any grant to a company involved in the promotion of tobacco use.

Competition entries



Efforts to improve road safety took a giant leap forward with the formation of a powerful community of changemakers that is developing innovative solutions for the big road safety challenges in India. This network is moving beyond the morass of problems to identify transformative ways to invest time and money. 

Jan 06, 15
Anonymous (not verified)


Bangalore, India -- Four road safety entrepreneurs have been selected as winners in the innovation challenge “Safer Roads, Safer India: Game Changing Innovations that Save Lives.” Their projects were evaluated by an expert panel of judges and chosen as the top solutions from a pool of more than 80 entries that activate citizenship, improve governance to be more responsive, update infrastructure, and use technology to protect drivers, passengers, and bystanders.

Sep 24, 14


Earlier this year, UL partnered with Ashoka, a global network of change makers, and launched the Safer Roads, Safer India: Game Changing Innovations that Save Lives challenge to increase public awareness of road safety challenges, crowd source solutions, and accelerate the rate of positive change. The Safe Roads challenge is part of a pilot being tested across India, with a focus on Bangalore, the country’s third-largest city.

Sep 10, 14