New York, USA – Vital Strategies today congratulated city leaders in Bangkok, Thailand for the launch of a new mass media campaign aimed at increasing awareness around helmet use, a critical road safety issue in a country where over 60 percent of motorists are on motorcycles. In collaboration with Vital Strategies and the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS), the city’s campaign that was unveiled today will encourage motorcyclists to wear helmets as well as properly click and fasten helmet buckles, a key component of helmet use needed to prevent head trauma from motorcycle-related road crashes.
Road crashes involving motorcycles are a significant cause of death and injury in Bangkok, where in 2015, 564 motorcycle deaths and 33,295 injuries were reported. Greater use of helmets and best practice standards, such as properly buckling chin and neck straps, can reduce the risk of death by almost 40 percent and risk of serious injury by 72 percent. A mass media campaign, in collaboration with strong police enforcement needed to change risky road behaviors, can increase helmet wearing compliance and thus prevent motorcycle-related road crash deaths and injuries.
More than 1.2 million people are killed in road crashes every year, with millions more sustaining severe and often debilitating injuries,” said José Luis Castro, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vital Strategies. “In cities like Bangkok where motorcycles are the majority of vehicles on the road, wearing helmets is the most effective strategy to combat preventable deaths and severe head trauma. Yet, unless motorcyclists are faced with enforced penalties for breaking the law – penalties that push people to reduce risky behavior – this epidemic will continue. We’re grateful that Bangkok and its police force are prioritizing helmet use enforcement that, coupled with this mass media campaign, will send a strong message to motorcycle drivers and riders to obey the law and protect themselves at the same time.”
Bangkok will use television and social media to promote a PSA and inform residents on why proper helmet use is so important to preventing serious injuries or fatalities resulting from road crashes. The campaign will run through September 2016 and is part of a global, 10 city program spearheaded by BIGRS and coordinated by Vital Strategies to reduce road crashes in major cities around the world.
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. Vital Strategies was formed when The Union North America and World Lung Foundation joined forces. It is an affiliate of The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union).
For further information please contact Jon Steed, Vital Strategies, at +1.917.710.2846 or firstname.lastname@example.org