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New Addis Ababa Campaign Shows How Slower Speeds Can Save Lives

(New York, USA – The city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, launched a new media campaign on Friday, Sept. 28, to persuade drivers that slowing down and adhering to speed limits can prevent crashes and save lives. The media campaign, “It’s 30 for a Reason: Slow Down,” will air on television and radio for four weeks, in coordination with ongoing enhanced enforcement by police.


Addis Ababa is an active participant in the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS), one of 10 cities that is deploying a variety of measures proven to save lives on the roads. This media campaign is the city’s fifth in three years, showing a significant commitment to empowering Addis citizens with critical information. Vital Strategies, an implementing partner in the Initiative, has provided technical assistance in Addis on these and other road safety efforts.

“One death on the road is one too many,” said José Luis Castro, President and CEO of Vital Strategies. “Speeding is a deadly behavior that contributes to over 3,400 deaths on the world’s roads every day. Road traffic crashes and injuries are the world’s number one killer among young adults, yet with the right interventions, they are entirely preventable. We congratulate Addis Ababa for its leadership and commitment to reduce speeding to save lives.”

The campaign features a public service announcement showing the lifesaving effect of driving at 30 km/h in a residential area compared to the potential consequences of exceeding that limit. The video shows that higher speeds significantly reduce a driver’s ability to stop in time to avoid a high-impact, life-threatening collision with a pedestrian. Seconds matter, and the ad demonstrates this by showing the time it takes to stop a vehicle operating at 60 km/h and 50 km/h compared to one moving at 30 km/h. While the media campaign in on the air, Addis Ababa police plan to step up ongoing speeding enforcement operations.

This mass media campaign builds upon the “Schoolgirl” campaign, aired in September 2017, which focused on the potentially devasting consequences of exceeding the speed limit. The city and BIGRS have also carried out three other campaigns to reduce drink driving.

About the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety

The Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) works with the world’s leading road safety organizations to implement road safety activities and coordinate with in-country governmental and non-governmental stakeholders. BIGRS places an emphasis on achieving outcomes, and on using high-quality monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to continually assess progress.

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 or Twitter @VitalStrat.

For further information or to arrange an interview with a Vital Strategies public health and road safety expert, please contact