SAFE STEPS offers boost for Asian road safety

Published Tue, 16/02/2016 - 07:26

The SAFE STEPS programme featuring global road safety ambassador Michelle Yeoh has been launched in Kuala Lumpur, initiated by the Prudence Foundation, the regional community investment arm of insurance company Prudential Corporation Asia, with the support of the FIA and National Geographic Channel.

This first-of-its-kind pan-Asian public service initiative seeks to raise awareness about one of the world’s leading causes of death and provide clear and simple life-saving information through the dissemination of educational messages on road safety.

Globally, 1.3 million people are killed on roads every year including 500 children every day. Road traffic injuries are the number one cause of death of 15 to 29 year olds[1], and present a life-threatening issue in Asia as development progresses at breathtaking speeds.

The programme was officially launched today by Malaysia’s Minister of Transport Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai alongside internationally acclaimed actress and producer Michelle Yeoh and FIA President Jean Todt, as well as Chairman of Prudence Foundation and Chairman of Prudential Corporation Asia, Donald Kanak. The Automobile Association of Malaysia (AAM) supported today’s launch in Kuala Lumpur, distributing campaign materials to its members.

SAFE STEPS Road Safety is a long-term educational programme using multiple platforms including on-air videos, an informative website and print material that can be shared through community-based activities. Core to the programme is a series of 60-second public service announcement (PSA) videos produced jointly by the Prudence Foundation, the FIA and National Geographic Channel, featuring SAFE STEPS Road Safety Ambassador Michelle Yeoh who advises on key aspects to bear in mind while driving cars, riding motorcycles, and for pedestrians. All SAFE STEPS tips were approved by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the FIA.    

Commenting on her role as SAFE STEPS Road Safety Ambassador, Michelle Yeoh said, “I am delighted to be the Ambassador for the SAFE STEPS Road Safety programme. Road safety is a cause that is close to my heart. Too many people are dying and being injured, so when this programme was presented to me, I knew I had to be a part of it. As I am championing the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety, I am proud to be promoting this campaign in Asia, my home region. By adopting these messages as we use the road, we can all play our part to save lives.” 

Jean Todt said: “By raising awareness of the most important risk factors on the road, the SAFE STEPS campaign can help change attitudes and behaviour, and save lives on the road. I encourage everyone to support the campaign and call on governments to take renewed action to meet the new Sustainable Development Goal target to halve global deaths and injuries from road related crashes by 2020. A key priority should be the putting in place of effective road safety legislation and  ensuring its enforcement at all levels.”

Donald Kanak said: “Prudence Foundation, as part of Prudential, cares deeply about health, safety, and saving lives.  We are honoured to launch SAFE STEPS Road Safety across Asia supporting the efforts of governments and encouraging other businesses to become more engaged in this critical issue. Similar to SAFE STEPS Natural Disasters, which we launched in 2014 and is now available in 24 countries and in 10 languages, we believe this programme will help save lives across Asia through easy-to-follow educational messages that are critical for road safety.”

SAFE STEPS Road Safety will focus on messages about drink driving, distracted driving, seatbelts, speed limits, motorcycles, and pedestrians. The videos will start airing on today across Asia on 17 channels on the FIC network, namely National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo People, FOX, FOX Crime, FOX Movies Premium, FOX Family Movies, FOX Action Movies, FOX Sports, FOX Sports 2, FX, Star World, Star Movies, Star Chinese Channel, SCM Legend, SCM and Channel [V] reaching viewers from over 80 million households accross the region. The video content will also be made available in nine local languages – Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Malaysia, Burmese, Cantonese, Khmer, Mandarin, Filipino, Thai and Vietnamese. The FIA film directed by Luc Besson – Save Kids Lives – aiming at raising awareness on children road safety is also shown as part of this initiative. 

The educational messages are also featured on the SAFE STEPS website, Visitors to the website can access educational materials such as pamphlets and posters that can be downloaded for further dissemination in local communities. Through the combination of television, online and print materials, SAFE STEPS Road Safety aims to communicate important life-saving information to as many people in Asia and across the world.