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Staying safe on China’s roads
Nearly 60,000 people were killed on the roads in China in 2012. That’s one every nine minutes. One film director, moved by personal tragedy, has made a hard-hitting film for Shell to help Chinese government efforts to make roads safer.
Twenty-eight year-old film director Fanfan Zhuang lives in the bustling mega-city of Beijing, China. She finds sharing the city’s roads with over 20 million other inhabitants perilous – especially since she lost her cousin in a motorbike accident in early 2013.
Fanfan Zhuang is passionate about keeping Chinese people safe on the road
“We were devastated,” says Fanfan. “He died so young, even before he could start his own family.”
Fanfan’s cousin was a police officer, hit by an underage motorcyclist who then sped off. Incidents such as these show why the government is cracking down on road behaviour.
With thousands of drivers covering millions of kilometres on projects across the country, road safety is also a priority for Shell in China. We also want to safeguard local communities where, for example, heavy trucks pass through small villages and towns. As part of our awareness-raising campaign, we commissioned a film to show the brutal consequences of carelessness on the road. Fanfan was keen to get involved.
An emotional film
China had 4.7 million traffic accidents in 2012
Bernd Marx, Regional Logistics Manager North China, had seen a Shell road safety film in Singapore and saw the benefits of a similar approach in China. He hired Fanfan.
“Driving behaviour is unpredictable here,” says Bernd. “More traffic education could be provided in schools and for the public.”
Fanfan chose a storyline she believed would have a strong emotional impact on the Chinese people – about a girl who loses her father in a crash because he does not take enough care on the road.
The girl grows up to become a teacher who then educates pupils with steps to stay safe. “The dramatic style and powerful messages creates a big impact on audiences.”
The film forms part of Bernd’s team practical road safety efforts, which include teaching drivers to anticipate danger and avoid being tired behind the wheel. They also offer free driving training to school bus drivers.
In 2013, they trained around 200 drivers.
The new film has already been made available on global social media channels and several websites in China, including the website of the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau.
“With continued distribution, I hope many people in China will watch the film and change their behaviour,” says Fanfan. “Ultimately we want to help save lives.”
* China Statistical yearbook 2012