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The regional community investment arm of Prudential Corporation Asia, teaming up with Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and National Geographic Channel, together with Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh, launched the Safe Steps Road Safety programme at the Pavilion mall in Kuala Lumpur on February 13.

Launched by Datuk Sri Liow Tiong Lai, minister of transport, in the presence of Yeoh; Jean Todt, President of the FIA and the United Nations Special Envoy for Road Safety; and Donald Kanak, Chairman of Prudence Foundation, the Safe Steps Road Safety is a regional programme intended to raise awareness about one of the world’s leading causes of death – traffic accidents – and provide clear and simple life-saving information through the dissemination of educational messages on road safety.

According to statistics, 1.3 million people are killed on roads every year, including 500 children every day. Road related accidents are the number one cause of death for 15 to 29 year olds. In Malaysia, an average of 6,000 to 7,000 traffic related deaths are recorded annually, much higher compared to other countries. Compared to the world average of 18 deaths per 100,000 of the population, Malaysia registered 23.6 deaths per 100,000.

Safe Steps Road Safety programme will disseminate videos on the risks of drunk driving, distracted driving, the importance of seatbelts, adherence to speed limits, as well as motorcycle and pedestrian safety. “It is my hope that the Safe Steps Road Safety campaign will play an important role in furthering the Ministry’s cause to reduce road accidents and casualty rates. Over the years, my ministry and our agencies, together with the private sector, have spearheaded many road safety initiatives to address the glaring number of accidents and fatalities. It is imperative that we continue to educate the public on road safety measures until it becomes a way of life for motorists in Malaysia,” said Liow.

Yeoh, who is Safe Steps Ambassador, said, “I am delighted to be the Ambassador for the Safe Steps Road Safety programme. Road safety is a cause that is close to my heart. Too many people are dying and being injured, so when this programme was presented to me, I knew I had to be a part of it. By adopting these messages as we use the road, we can all play our part to save lives.”

The programme is also supported by the Automobile Association of Malaysia (AAM), Malaysian Automotive Institute (MAI) and Bosch.