(New York, USA) – In response to an increase in e-bikes in China, the city of Shanghai has launched a new media campaign promoting helmet use by e-bike riders. Director of the Shanghai Health Promotion Committee Office, Zhang Meixing, unveiled the campaign PSA, titled “Consequences,” at a press conference on Friday, May 25, 2018 at the Shanghai International Dance Center. This campaign is the city’s second as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS), of which Vital Strategies is an implementing partner.
Powered two- and three-wheeled vehicles, including e-bikes, account for more than 286,000 deaths each year globally – about 23 percent of all road traffic fatalities. According to the Shanghai CDC, one in five fatalities on Shanghai roads involve e-bikes, with head injuries accounting for 70 percent of those fatalities.
“Not wearing a helmet is a major risky behavior,” said Sandra Mullin, Senior Vice President, Policy, Advocacy and Communication at Vital Strategies. “As e-bike riding increases rapidly around the globe, and particularly in Asia, riders must understand the consequences of doing so. By showing the deadly risks associated with not wearing a helmet, “Consequences” can reduce this risky behavior. We applaud city officials in Shanghai for their commitment to save lives and reduce injuries.”
Shanghai currently has no law requiring e-bike drivers or passengers to wear helmets. The Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP), a BIGRS partner with enforcement and advocacy expertise, is supporting efforts by police to inform e-bike riders of the life-saving benefits of proper helmet use. Police will distribute informational materials to e-bike riders as part of routine traffic stops during the campaign.
“GRSP supports the Shanghai government’s willingness to enact evidence-based policies to save lives and prevent serious injuries of e-bike riders,” said Marcin Flieger, GRSP Manager of Road Policing Capacity Building. “GRSP is supporting the Shanghai traffic police in developing strategies and actions to ensure robust enforcement to change e-bike user behavior and address the growing issue of e-bike crash related deaths and injuries.”
In Shanghai, e-bike use increased by 128 percent between 2011 and 2015, yet a recent Johns Hopkins University study showed that only 13.5% of e-bike drivers and 9.4% of e-bike passengers in the city wore helmets. The “Consequences” campaign will run on television, digital media and out-of-home spaces through the end of June, with social media and newspaper ads continuing through September.
About Vital Strategies
Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. Our team combines evidence-based strategies with innovation to help develop and implement sound public health policies, manage programs efficiently, strengthen data systems, conduct research, and design strategic communication campaigns for policy and behavior change. To find out more, please visit www.vitalstrategies.org or Twitter @VitalStrat.