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September 1, 2017

Vital Strategies Supports Shanghai Road Safety Efforts

(New York, USA) – Vital Strategies today congratulated city leaders in Shanghai, China, for their increasing efforts toward saving lives on the roads of the city. Raising conversation about road safety as a public health issue, the Shanghai Health Promotion Committee and Traffic Police have coordinated actions to reduce risky road behaviors, with a focus on seat belt wearing through a new mass media campaign beginning Sept. 1. Lack of seat belt use is a key risk factor contributing to the over 1.25 million deaths globally on the roads.

As part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS), Shanghai’s campaign will run through November and focus on seat belts as a life-saving mechanism that can dramatically reduce the likelihood of death and injury in a crash. The public service announcement (PSA) for the campaign conveys the message, “seat belts save lives for drivers and passengers, always wear a seat belt.”

According to data from the World Health Organization, seat belts are approximately 50 percent effective in preventing fatalities in crashes where motorists would otherwise die. Wearing a seat belt reduces risk of fatality among front seat passengers by 40-50 percent, and rear seat passengers by 25-75 percent.

In Shanghai, a dangerously low six percent of rear seat passengers use a seat belt, while only 55 percent of front seat passengers buckle up. Drivers are most likely to use a seat belt (91%) according to the latest round of observational data from the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit.

“We are proud to support the city of Shanghai in its commitment to saving lives on the roads, imploring all vehicle occupants to utilize seat belts,” said José Luis Castro, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vital Strategies. “Seat belts cannot prevent a crash, but they can drastically reduce the consequences when a crash does occur, often preventing death and injury that would otherwise result. We are grateful that Shanghai is taking the importance of seat belt use seriously.”

The campaign will be accompanied by continued police enforcement of the use of seat belts.

Shanghai’s efforts are part of a global, 10-city program spearheaded by BIGRS and coordinated by Vital Strategies to reduce road crashes and deaths in major cities around the world. The campaign launch will be in coordination with the press event surrounding the Shanghai Health Promotion Committee’s booklet on road safety that will be distributed to every household in the city.

About Vital Strategies

Vital Strategies envisions a world where every person is protected by a strong public health system. Our team combines evidence-based strategies with innovation to help develop 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.

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Kristi Saporito, Vital Strategies, at +1.917.886.4657 or ksaporito@vitalstrategies.org

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