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Road safety: Helping local communities stay safe on the road
Millions of people die on the world’s roads every year. At Shell we prioritise road safety for our own drivers and find ways to encourage local communities to adopt safe driving behaviour.
Drivers on Shell business cover millions of kilometres each year. Road safety is a priority for us and we share our approach with others.
We are a member of the Global Road Safety Partnership, which brings together international agencies, companies and governments to work on practical projects to reduce road accidents.
The partnership launched the award-winning Global Road Safety Initiative, which aims to improve road safety in targeted developing countries.
Its achievements include cutting road incidents in Brazil, encouraging seat-belt and helmet use, and reducing drink driving. Now in its second five-year phase, the initiative will run from 2010-2014.
The Sakhalin Energy joint venture between Gazprom, Shell, Mitsui and Mitsubishi has also worked with the partnership to improve road safety on Sakhalin Island.
Some of the world’s most challenging driving conditions are found on Sakhalin, Russia’s largest island.
Winter lasts 240 days a year. When temperatures thaw, the unpaved roads become impassable from the mud. Despite the dangers, local residents were unaccustomed to safe driving practices such as using seat belts.
When Shell and its joint venture partners in Sakhalin Energy launched the Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project, it focused on improving road safety.
We formed a partnership with the Sakhalin regional government, the Global Road Safety Partnership, and representatives from more than 25 other organisations, including businesses, educational institutions and the police.
The group now called the Sakhalin Road Safety Council—worked to improve road signage and dangerous road sections.
We also launched an award-winning campaign to raise public awareness about seat belts, child car seats and other safety practices.
The government tightened seat belt laws and the police cracked down on offenders.
And, because moments count to save an accident victim, Sakhalin Energy equipped hospitals with five ambulances while working with the council to place first aid kits in police vehicles and train more than 70 police and nurses each year for emergency response.
The number of road accidents in the region dropped by 9.4% in 2011, according to the Sakhalin police department, with a significant decline in related deaths and injuries.
Video monitors also show that more people are buckling up: 85% use seat belts today, compared to only 3% when the seat belt campaign began in 2005.
Securing a safety culture
We focus our road safety initiatives where they are most needed, and adapt to local challenges.
In Turkey, for example, around 10,000 people are killed on the road each year, according to the UN. Yet most people ignore the law requiring them to wear a seat belt.
We work to protect our own drivers and have found ways to encourage seat belt use in the community.
One of our most persuasive tools recreates a real-life driving experience. People buckle in to experience the importance of wearing a belt in case of a low-speed crash or 360-degree roll-over.
We use the simulators at special events, for example at our retail stations during a Shell-sponsored Traffic Week in the city of Kayseri.
That week police officers passed out our safety brochures and gave drivers who were not wearing seat belts a choice: they could pay a fine or take Shell’s free driver safety training course.
We also produced a safety DVD, which was aired on local television.
Next, we took our driving safety programme into universities. Some made student participation mandatory.
To reach the country’s 11 million primary school children, we developed an educational website.