Yangon Mayor Maung Maung Soe stood alongside political activists Jimmy and Min Ko Naing, while some of Myanmar’s best known models, actors, artists and musicians also took the stage at Maha Bandoola Square in the city centre yesterday morning to launch a public awareness campaign about road safety.
The main objective of the campaign is to encourage members of the public to help reduce road accidents, 95 percent of which are caused by human error, according to organisers. On average, 14 people die every day on the streets of Yangon.
Yesterday’s campaign was co-hosted by Yangon Region Government and 22 partner organizations associated with Yangon Region Legislative Assembly,including Yangon Region Transport Authority (YRTA), ActionAid Myanmar, Prudence Foundation, SUU Foundation, and Mizzima Media.
Yangon Region Legislative Assembly Speaker Tin Maung Tun and Mayor Maung Maung Soe were on hand at 7am for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Tin Maung Tun and Maung Maung Soe delivered the opening remarks, and were followed at the podium by the UN Special Envoy for Road Safety Mr. Jean Todt and Prudence Foundation Chairman Mr. Donald Kanak.
88 Generation Peace and Open Society leader Jimmy and model Thandar Hlaing then addressed the crowd to emphasise various aspects of road safety. They were followed by celebrities L Sai Zi, Shwe Thamee, Myanmar Idol Season 2 contestants Poe Mi, Yoon, Ye Naung, Amy Zan, and artistes Thu Myat and Wunna Aung, who conducted a short series of road safety education performances.
A seat belt simulator was demonstrated to onlookers to show the effectiveness of seat belts when driving.
Elsewhere in the city, a representative of the French Culture Consulate, a partner in the campaign, demonstrated the correct use of zebra crossing at the traffic lights under the Myaynigone flyover. Former political prisoner Min Ko Naing also participated, offering advice on road safety to some 70 schoolchildren.
In the evening, a press conference was held at Yangon’s Shangri-La Hotel, led by UN envoy Jean Todt, after which speakers debated ideas to make road safety an ongoing campaign.