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January 4, 2018

Accra, Bangkok Launch Efforts to Reduce Road Traffic Crashes During Holiday Season

On October 9, 2016, Bridget Amezado was walking down the street when a driver hit her and drove away. As she laid on the ground, all she could think about was her family. Who was going to take care of them? How would she get to work?

Bridget told her story in her own words in a new campaign, and Accra, Ghana’s first within the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS). Her testimonial video was featured on social media, and it detailed the physical, financial and emotional pain she still suffers a year after the crash. Billboards telling Bridget’s story added to the impact, while city police increased breathalyzer checkpoints to apprehend offenders.

“I spent so much money and so much time in the hospital,” she says in the ad. “I walk everywhere without sandals or slippers because of the pain I feel in my feet.”

Accra was one of two cities in the BIGRS initiative that recently launched campaigns to combat speeding and drink driving during the holiday season. Bangkok, Thailand, utilized a social experiment video to show the deadly dangers of speeding. Accra debuted its first campaign to combat drinking and driving during the festive season – both with the support of Vital Strategies.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Assembly (BMA) launched the “It’s 30 km/h for a reason” campaign on Dec. 21, to put a spotlight on the tragic consequences of speeding during the New Year’s holiday season – known as the “seven dangerous days” from Dec. 28-Jan. 3. BMA Deputy Governor Pol Lt-General Chinnatat Meesuk announced the effort, which features a social experiment video addressing the deadly outcomes of speeding, particularly on narrow roads where pedestrians and vehicles travel in close proximity.

City news stations also aired a five-minute testimonial featuring Pariyada Puangtongthip, a road traffic crash survivor who was struck while using a crosswalk. Her testimonial, like Bridget Amezado’s, showed the real-life harms of speeding in community areas and highlighted the BMA’s commitment to reducing risky behaviors on the roads.

Bangkok will continue to intensify its speed reduction efforts as one of over 50 participants in the Bloomberg Philanthropies Partnership for Healthy Cities.

Through stories like Bridget’s and Pariyada’s, and through strong, coordinated campaigns and interventions, Bangkok and Accra have made impressive commitments to reduce the 1.25 million deaths on the world’s roads each year.

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