CYBERJAYA: BMW Group Malaysia today introduced #SafetyStartsWithYou, a series of Public Service Announcement (PSA) videos directed by BMW Shorties Finalist Mallory Lee, as part of the premium automaker’s annual BMW Safety 360º Program.
Featuring children between the ages of 4 to 9 years old, the series serves as a reminder to adults to be safer on the roads, especially this Hari Raya when the Balik Kampung season starts, highlighting some of the most basic road rules, etiquette and practices to stay safe on the road. The series includes five 30-second videos promoting the use of seat belts and child car seats, signal indicators, as well as adhering to the traffic light, speed limit and not using phones while driving.
Former Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai revealed that in 2016, a total of 7,152 people died in road accidents in the country where 80.6% of which were caused by human error .
According to the current Transport Minister Anthony Loke, a total of 6,740 road fatalities were registered in 2017.
The World Health Organization for 2013 also reported that Malaysia ranked the third highest globally for road-related deaths.
#SafetyStartsWithYou highlights some of the most common causes of road accidents including:
1. Distracted driving: #DontTextandDrive
According to MIROS, the use of mobile phones while driving is a contributing factor to road crashes among motorists in Klang Valley. A study reported that 43.4% use their phones while driving, 61.9% when stopped at red lights, and 53.6% when in traffic jams1. Although more than 80% agreed that using phones while driving can increase the risk of crash involvement and reduce the driver’s ability and concentration2, distracted driving is a cause that many are guilty of. The “#DontTextandDrive” episode reminds us that the road requires our full attention and that no call, message or notification is too important. It can wait until you reach your destination.
2. Non-observance of speed limit and traffic lights: #LimitYourSpeed and #SlowAtYellow
The Road Transport Department (JPJ) announced that in 2017, it issued 11,556 summonses for speeding and 1,540 for beating the red light in just five days of implementing the Automated Awareness Safety System (Awas) and Demerit Points for Traffic Offences System (Kejara)2. By December 2017, JPJ has issued 417,684 traffic summonses comprising of speeding and traffic light offences3. These offences will be highlighted in two episodes respectively with a key reminder that patience makes a difference between life and death.
3. Changing lanes and signal indicators: #FlipToSaveLives
Many of us are guilty of not using our signal indicators before turning or changing lanes. This is one of the many behaviours in reckless driving. As seen in an episode of #SafetyStartsWithYou, the use of signal indicators is easily re-enacted by children. It is hard to understand why it is one of the most neglected responsibilities by many drivers. The simple act of flipping the signal indicator can avoid accidents like being rear-ended, sideswiped, or t-boned by a car.
4. Child car seats: #TimeForChildSeatsNow
The BMW Safety 360° Program has made child car seats its central focus for the pass few years and will continue to advocate for the use and correct installation of child safety restraints. According to the World Health Organization, if correctly installed and used, child safety restraints in automobiles can reduce infant death in car crashes by 71% and toddler deaths by 54%1. More so, it has been a prevalent fact that about 73% of fatal accidents involving children were caused by parents neglecting safety5. In the #TimeForChildSeatsNow, parents are reminded that they should not wait for a law requiring children to be placed in child car seats. Instead, parents should recognise that this is an important move to make if they are truly thinking about the safety of their children.
The #SafetyStartsWithYou series was directed by Mallory Lee who directed the winning short film for BMW Shorties 2017 People’s Choice Award, “Gold! There’s Gold in the River”.
Mallory was also a BMW Shorties Finalist in 2014 with “A Gift” and a nominee for several BMW Shorties 2014 supporting awards with the short film “Hello Angel”.
Harald Hoelzl, managing director and CEO of BMW Group Malaysia, said, “For more than a decade now, the BMW Shorties has been a tremendous success in its aim to discover and develop talent for the film industry. Our winners have grown from aspiring film talents to well sought-after filmmakers in the industry.”