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.
Mr Harald Hoelzl, Managing Director and CEO of BMW Group Malaysia said, “Road safety and responsibility on the road should be approached from the complete view of technology, behaviour and action. While we as a premium automaker continuously design and introduce new safety technology to significantly enhance road safety for all road users, it is also important for us to be reminded that safety starts with you. Your behaviour and action on the road can significantly reduce you and your children’s risks of road accidents. With this video series, we hope parents and adults, in general, will see that if our children understand basic road rules and sign, as well as safe driving behaviour, we as adults should reflect on our own actions which impact road safety.”
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. The Malaysian Institute Road Safety Research (MIROS) has reported that some of the main causes of these road accidents include reckless and distracted driving as well as ignorance of traffic rules1. According to the current Transport Minister Anthony Loke, a total of 6,740 road fatalities were registered in 2017. While this shows that road fatalities are steadily reducing, the number of road accidents registered last year increased by 2.4% to 533,875, from 521,466 in 2016.
Harald added that the World Health Organization for 2013 also reported that Malaysia ranked as the third highest globally for road-related deaths1. He said, “These staggering facts should not be viewed as just figures. We should reflect on these findings and ask ourselves whether we contribute to these statistics, consider what we’re doing wrong on the road, and consciously remind ourselves every day to be better drivers, passengers and pedestrians.”
#SafetyStartsWithYou highlights some of the most common causes of road accidents including:
- 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 jams. 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.
- Non-observance of the 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). By December 2017, JPJ has issued 417,684 traffic summonses comprising of speeding and traffic light offences. These offences will be highlighted in two episodes respectively with a key reminder that patience makes a difference between life and death.
- 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.
- 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%. 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”.
Mallory Lee graduated from Liverpool John Moores University and has spent more than a quarter of his youth producing independent films, commercials, as well as digital content. He is currently a film director at Parrot Kreative, a production company founded in 2011 that produces documentaries, music videos, commercial advertisements, and corporate videos. Parrot Kreative has worked with brands such as Google, Microsoft, AirAsia, Vivo, Martell, among many others, and is now working on producing a feature-length film, directed by Mallory himself.
Harald 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, and it is a great fulfilment for us and the country when Malaysian art is being showcased at festivals worldwide – some go to the extent of winning at international festivals. Beyond this, we hope to also create opportunities for our participants and finalists as we work with them to create content for our core business beyond the BMW Shorties program. It is very fulfilling to be able to support creative individuals build great careers in an industry that is outside our core competency.”
The #SafetyStartsWithYou series can be viewed HERE.