(New York, USA) – Vital Strategies commends the city of Bangkok, Thailand, today on the launch of a new speeding campaign, “It’s 30 km/h for a reason.” Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) Deputy Governor Pol Lt-General Chinnatat Meesuk announced the social marketing campaign at a Thursday press conference at the BMA City Hall as part of Bangkok’s participation in the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS). At the launch event, Pol Maj Gen Jirapat Phumjit, deputy chief of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, detailed the enhanced enforcement efforts during the city’s dangerous New Year’s time, widely referred to as the “seven dangerous days.” The city also announced its commitment to reducing speeding as its Bloomberg Philanthropies Partnership for Healthy Cities intervention.
In 2016, 266 people lost their lives on Bangkok roads. Speeding is the main risk factor leading to traffic crashes and fatalities around the world – particularly in low- and middle-income countries. According to the latest Johns Hopkins University observational data, 22 percent of vehicles exceed the speed limits in Bangkok.
“Speeding has deadly consequences, particularly in residential areas where children and pedestrians share the roads with vehicles,” said José Luis Castro, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vital Strategies. “Bringing to the forefront the devastating results of speeding is key to changing this risky behavior and reducing the over 1.25 million deaths on the world’s roads each year. As cities continue to grow, we must ensure that roads are safe for all travelers. We congratulate the city of Bangkok for its efforts to prevent these senseless road deaths and save lives.”
“It’s 30 km/h for a reason” features a social experiment video addressing the deadly consequences of speeding on narrow roads with high pedestrian presence.
The video demonstrates the distances needed to stop a vehicle at different speeds, showing the difficulty of avoiding a crash with a pedestrian when driving at higher speeds. When drivers abide by the recommended speed for narrow, pedestrian-frequented roads – 30 km/h – drivers are able to stop before making would-be fatal contact with pedestrians. The campaign will launch ahead of the New Year’s season, widely known as the “seven dangerous days,” when road traffic deaths reach a peak from Dec. 28-Jan. 3. The video will run on Facebook for four weeks.
In addition to the social experiment video, the campaign will also include a robust five-minute testimonial from a road traffic victim that will be aired across the city on local news stations. The testimonial shows the real-life harms of speeding in community areas, and underscores the city’s commitment to reducing risky behaviors on the road by demonstrating the need for lower speed limits.
The campaign will lay the foundation for continued efforts to combat speeding in Bangkok in 2018.
Bangkok is one of over 50 participants in the Bloomberg Philanthropies Partnership for Healthy Cities, an initiative led by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the World Health Organization’s Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases. Within the Partnership for Healthy Cities, of which Vital Strategies is an implementing partner, Bangkok will redouble efforts to reduce speeding in the Thai capital.
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.
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