The Telegraph
Monday , December 24 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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A low-speed challenge with a vital message

- Pushpak car rally, though a low-key event, aims to prod motorists of the state to drive safely

Jorhat, Dec. 23: It’s a low-profile event without the hype or the lofty aim that the India-Asean rally had but with a clear message — safety first and speed, a distant second.

Speaking about the event — Pushpak car rally — a member of the organising committee said, “The idea behind organising the event is to popularise motor sport in the region and the aim is to make motorists aware that they should think of safety, not speed while driving a car.”

The participants of the rally, to be flagged off at Chaliha Nagar ground in Upper Assam’s Tinsukia town on January 6, have to maintain an average speed of 45km per hour and have to cover 150km in about six hours.

“Speed is not the factor in this rally. On the contrary, it is about maintaining the assigned speed throughout the way. The rally will also test the ability of man and machine at low speeds,” a member of the organising committee said.

The event is being organised by Assam Motor Sports Club and would be held in the internationally approved TSD (time, speed and distance) format. Recognised by the Federation of Motor Sport Club of India, it is open to 60 amateur drivers.

The member said the challenge for the participants was to stay on course and be on time by following the route instructions. He said there would be hidden checkpoints to record the arrival time of each competitor and that they would penalised for each minute early or late.

“Time, speed and distance are real challenges for the navigator, who must calculate the time and distance and for the driver, who must drive at a precise speed,” he said, adding that the team that managed to maintain the precise time and average assigned speed along the entire route would be adjudged the winner.

He said each team should comprise at least three members and the participants should hold valid driving licences and registration and insurance of the vehicles.

Praising the organisers, Dhananjay Saikia, a transport department official, said such events were very necessary, as these helped create awareness about road safety. “Such events spread the right message about road safety.”

There are also cash awards for the winners — Rs 1,21,000, Rs 31,000 and Rs 21,000 respectively for the first, second and third position holders.

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