29 March 2017, Yangon
Shell Myanmar, together with the Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRC) and with support from the Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) kick-off a road safety campaign to educate drivers and community members along the Yangon-Nay Pyi Taw Highway, a roadway notorious for its high crash rate. With support from relevant local authorities including the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), chaired by the Vice President H.E Henry Van Thio, and the Ministry of Construction, and aligned with Myanmar’s National Road Safety Action Plan, the programme is one of Shell Myanmar’s social investment initiatives underpinning the company’s commitment to help make a positive difference in Myanmar.
While many factors play a role in unsafe driving, speed is a common culprit. The campaign, which aims to help reduce the high crash rate along the Yangon-Nay Pyi Taw Highway, addresses speed and advocates for drivers to stay within the set speed limit. The target audience was determined in conjunction with the Myanmar government’s data, which identified males ages 30-44 as a high-risk group for crashes. Since many of these drivers are fathers, the main campaign message is communicated through an overarching theme of getting home to loved ones safely.
“By raising awareness and educating motorists and pedestrians on proper driving habits and road use, we hope to help foster a culture of safe driving over time. The Yangon-Nay Pyi Taw Highway was a natural first step in our road safety campaign. Working together with the Myanmar Red Cross, we are proud to do our part in preventing road crashes. Safety is central to Shell’s DNA and around the world we implement road safety campaigns, reaching communities from Asia Pacific to South America,” said Yasuko Yoshida, Country Chair, Shell Myanmar.
The campaign includes signs and billboards that span the Yangon-Nay Pyi Taw Highway from Yangon to the 115th Mile Rest Stop, communicating safe driving messages to motorists. At the rest stop, a demonstration car crash site is displayed and inside the restaurants, posters and table top signs share other life-saving tips such as wearing a seat-belt and to rest well before driving.
“According to the Myanmar National Traffic Safety Committee, approximately 11.6 people are killed in automobile crashes each day and the World Health Organization ranks Myanmar as the second-worst country in Southeast Asia for traffic related deaths. We must work together to address this pressing national issue. I urge all highway users to follow the rules of the road and be responsible citizens,” said Daw Khin Khin Shein, Director, First Aid and Safety Services Department, Myanmar Red Cross Society.
In addition to addressing drivers, the Myanmar Red Cross is undertaking an outreach educational workshop program for villagers that live adjacent to the Yangon-Nay Pyi Taw Highway. Over three months, trainers will teach school children and adults about safe road use, as many drive motorbikes and are pedestrians along the high-speed roadway. More than 1,000 villagers will participate in the workshops across 11 villages.
Beginning in 2013, with support from the Singapore Red Cross, the Myanmar Red Cross Society provided First Aid Posts along the Yangon-Nay Pyi Taw Highway, including an ambulance and professional staff, trained volunteers and an emergency number. MRC also undertakes regular Road Accident Prevention (RAP) workshops across the 17 states/regions for Red Cross volunteers.
As an active member of the Global Road Safety Partnership since 2000, Shell is committed to championing road safety around the world, working with communities and global partners to help improve road safety through a variety of grassroots programs.
With the launch of an initial road safety program, Shell together with GRSP and Myanmar Red Cross Society will be exploring opportunities to expand the campaign in the future. See the campaign video here.