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NMG partners with Prudential Insurance to create Road safety awareness

By Hillary Kimuyu February 24th, 2022 3 min read

Nation Media Group (NMG) has partnered with Prudence Foundation and Prudential to disseminate the informational materials to Kenyans on road safety.

The programme dubbed SAFE STEPS Road Safety is a public service initiative aimed to raise awareness and provide clear and simple life-saving educational messages on road safety.

During the launch on Wednesday morning, Pamella Sittoni, NMG Executive Editor in charge of Partnerships said that as a Group, the media house has been involved in the drive to make Kenyan roads safer in various ways.

“We have conducted investigations into citizen’s road behaviours, run stories across our platforms from Newsplex (which creates simple to understand infographics to paint a picture of the situation on the ground) to print publications and broadcast stories, all aimed at behaviour, infrastructure, or policy changes,” she said.

“We have also collaborated with various institutions across the region in road safety campaigns such as the annual Twedeko Road Safety Campaign in Uganda, to Kenyan campaigns run by the government and corporate institutions.”

The program, created and developed by Prudence Foundation, the community investment arm of Prudential plc in Africa and Asia, in partnership with the Didier Drogba Foundation, provides easy-to-understand information on the most common areas for road safety: Distracted Driving, Drink Driving, Motorcycles, Pedestrians, Seatbelts, and Speed Limits.

The information and tips are approved and endorsed by the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) and Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) who are also key partners of the program.

According to Ms Sittoni, NMG as the official media partner is invested in enhancing awareness among our citizenry and different stakeholders including children and teenagers, who make up 21 percent of the road accident victims. “As a result, we shall run this awareness campaign on our print publications, tv and radio stations targeting pedestrians, drivers and boda boda riders. In addition, we shall run cartoon strips in Juniorspot and Cartoon Network videos that will educate our children on road safety.”

On his part, Mr Marc Fancy, Prudence Foundation Executive Director said that road traffic crashes are one of the leading causes of death in Kenya. “We aim to contribute towards making Kenya’s roads and people safer through reinforcing road safety awareness and education continually. We are delighted to be partnering with Nation Media Group on the Safe Steps Road Safety campaign in Kenya. We believe this partnership will enable us to reach many people in Kenya given their countrywide reach as one of the leading media service providers.”

CEO, Prudential Gwen Kinisu added, “Road safety is still a threat to the lives of individuals and their families, not only in Nairobi but also all over Africa. Our purpose is to enable people to get the most out of life, and safety on the roads for all users is key to ensuring that people live longer, healthier lives so that they can continue providing for their loved ones.”

According to Nairobi area Traffic boss Joshua Omukata, 32 pedestrians have lost their lives since the start of the year along various highways. He pointed out that most deaths resulted from pedestrians ignoring footbridges and instead choosing to cross the road, adding that 91 people sustained injuries in accidents that could have been avoided.

The routes that recorded the most incidents between January 1 and February 10 include Mbagathi Way to Kenyatta Market, Thika Road near Garden City and Outer Ring Road, with footbridges in these areas being the most ignored by pedestrians.

Last year alone, Kenya recorded a 24.2 percent increase in road accidents between January and November, resulting in 19,571 casualties, and a loss of approximately 400 billion to the economy due to hospital bills, insurance claims and job losses.

The number of road accidents rose at an alarming rate, from 3,707 in 2020 to 4,347 in mid-December 2021, the highest in five years, representing a 17.3 percent increase.

This is according to the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) road safety status report in 2021. Worldwide, 1.3 million people, including 500 children, are killed on the roads every year. Road accidents are the leading cause of death among 15 to 29-year-olds.

The Safe Steps Road Safety campaign will be aired on all NMG platforms for one year.