Mary has over 20 years experience as the editor of our Malaysian sister magazine, The Tyreman. Based in Kuala Lumpur, she writes articles for us on the Malaysian and other South East Asian markets.
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Giti Tire partnered with the Ministry of Transport Malaysia, Jabatan Keselamatan Jalan Raya Malaysia (JKKR) and Nadi Putra Transport Perbandaran Putrajaya to kick off its Go Safe initiative in Malaysia recently. The campaign would last a year.
Go Safe, explained the company, was Giti Tire’s new road safety initiative. Managed by the Giti Foundation, the programme was aimed at raising public awareness on the simple steps that each and every one could take in their daily lives to make the roads safer.
The company said the objective was to create road safety awareness, deepen the children’s and young people’s understanding and shape their attitudes towards road safety, which would help to keep them safe while they were young and as they grew older.
Globally, around 90 per cent of traffic deaths occur in low and middle income countries, which have 82 per cent of the world’s population but only 54 per cent of registered vehicles. The connection between income and road safety is also found in Asia. Singapore has some of the safest roads in the world while Asia’s emerging economies are lagging behind when it comes to road safety. Throughout the Asian region, a high number of lives are lost each year in road accidents and the cost of these accidents is a drag on economic growth.
For Malaysia, the population in 2015 was 29,716,965 with the number of registered cars at 10,689,450 and the number of registered motorcycles stood at 11,087,878. Based on the data provided by the World Health Organisation, the estimated traffic deaths per 100,000 people is 24.0 and the GDP lost to traffic accidents was 1.5 per cent.
Road accidents are among the leading causes of death and life-long disabilities globally. Traffic safety is an area where individual action could make a big difference and Giti’s Go Safe campaign is a reminder that making our roads safer is a responsibility that we all share.
Road safety starts with people and a few simple changes in driver and passenger behaviour have proven in a long way to reduce injuries and death. While the reasons for traffic accidents vary greatly between countries, there are a number of universal steps that we could take to make our roads safer. Some of the Go Safe steps that the company suggested include teaching the new generation of road users that traffic safety starts with them; always buckle up with the seatbelt, don’t mix driving and using mobile phones, and keeping children safe in a car means providing age and size appropriate car seats, booster seats and seatbelts. Also suggested was that helmets reduce the risk of head injuries by 69 per cent and the risk of death by 42 per cent, and every motorcycle rider should wear a helmet.
Last but not least are tyre checks. Tyres worn by 75 per cent go 50 per cent further before coming to a complete stop compared to the same tyres that are new. Bald tyres take almost twice as long to stop as new tyres. Severely worn tyres are prone to blow-outs, which are very dangerous when vehicles travel at high speeds. To stay safe on the road, check your tyres regularly and change them when signs of wear emerge.
Giti Tire has partnered with the Singapore Traffic Police for the Go Safe campaign, which focuses on direct community engagement and volunteerism. For Malaysia, the company focuses strongly on no mobile phones when driving as it is widely considered dangerous due to its potential to cause distracted driving and accidents. Young drivers would be its main target as this group, especially those who had just obtained their driving licence, had a higher rate of crashes. Speeding and driver distraction were the two major causes of the accidents.
To achieve this goal, Giti Tire is promoting the Go Safe campaign. The steps taken recently to ‘Go Safe’ included the 6 bus wrap advertising campaign that travelled from Putrajaya to Kuala Lumpur, putting posters at all bus stops and its partners’ premises. Together with JKJ, Giti Tire is planning the safety campaign to benefit road users as well.
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