Chinese-Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh has joined 1,500 local university students in a pan-Asian public service initiative on raising road safety awareness in Ho Chi Minh City.
Yeoh, who is also the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassador, joined the students in launching the SAFE STEPS Road Safety campaign, spearheaded by Prudence Foundation in partnership with National Geographic and the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).
The launch of the initiative SAFE STEPS in Vietnam is supported and implemented by the National Traffic Safety Committee, Ho Chi Minh Traffic Safety Committee, Ho Chi Minh Youth Union, and AIP Foundation - a road safety non-profit organization with 17 years of experience.
According to Yeoh, who is the FIA high-level panel spokesperson, more than 1.25 million people globally are killed on the roads annually, while nearly 50 million injured, with the majority of these accidents taking place in low- and middle-income countries.
SAFE STEPS is a series of public service announcements with the objective of raising awareness and providing clear, educational information on common road safety issues.
“In my time as a road safety advocate, I have seen private companies, governments, NGOs, and communities come together to develop creative solutions that save lives,” Yeoh said.
“This campaign is a powerful example of the multi-sector cooperation that is necessary in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”
The event kicked off with a motorcycle road-show, with the parade making its way through downtown Ho Chi Minh City with the participation of Ambassador Michelle Yeoh, the executive vice chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee, FIA and United Nations Special Envoy for Road Safety, Prudence Foundation, AIP foundation, and Vietnamese celebrities.
During the event, the officiating guests signed the SAFE STEPS commitment and discussed road safety issues with the students in attendance.
Actress Michelle Yeoh (R) and Jean Todt, president of Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, participate in the SAFE STEPS Road Safety campaign in Ho Chi Minh City.
Actress Michelle Yeoh joins a ride in Ho Chi Minh City.
According to Dr. Khuat Viet Hung, the National Traffic Safety Committee’s executive vice chairman, Vietnam’s government appreciates the cooperation and contribution of international and local organizations and private sectors for the aim of traffic safety for Vietnamese.
“We believe that the Prudence Foundation project, through a series of activities that have been effectively coordinated with international partners, will contribute to the building of a transportation culture for the Vietnamese people and creates a safer, more friendly transportation environment," Dr. Hung said.
“We also believe that the program's activities implemented in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi will contribute to the Year of Traffic Safety program in 2017, with the theme of ‘Building a Transport Culture for Local Youth’ in those cities and across the country.”
Mr. Jean Todt, president of FIA, said if people are going to reduce road crash deaths and injuries worldwide, it is crucial that diverse stakeholders begin to increase funding for life-saving initiatives.
“I am proud that FIA is able to partner with Prudence Foundation and other key players from across industries to set an example for future road safety campaigns,” Todt said.
As one of the founding members of SAFE STEPS, Ms. Jolene Chen, vice chairwoman of the Prudence Foundation, said her foundation really cares deeply about health, safety, and protecting lives.
“We are honored to be launching our SAFE STEPS Road Safety campaign in Vietnam,” Chen said.
“Vietnam has nearly 45 million motorcycles on its roads coupled with dangerous pedestrian environments, making it home to a huge population of vulnerable road users.
“With its easy-to-follow educational messages that are critical for road safety, we believe this program will help keep motorcyclists and pedestrians, including university students, in Vietnam safe.”
SAFE STEPS Road Safety public service announcements featuring Yeoh are being shown across Asia on FOX channel, reaching out to 80 million households every day.
Campaign activities are also being implemented in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar, and Cambodia.
In Vietnam, campaign billboards will be installed across the centers of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, as well as at 12 universities.
Public service announcements will also be aired on national television stations and social media networks, as well as at hospitals and universities.
Actress Michelle Yeoh joins a flashmob performance with young participants at the SAFE STEPS Road Safety campaign event at the Youth Culture House in Ho Chi Minh City on April 9, 2017.
Guests are seen at the SAFE STEPS Road Safety campaign event.