Joash Ee De Silva
The Star/ Asia News Network
Sunday, Feb 14, 2016
Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh has not lost anyone close to her in a road accident, but she has taken it to her heart to raise awareness on road safety.
The cause is so dear to her that the Hollywood actress now champions it out of her own free will and without any money involved.
The Safe Steps Road Safety campaign ambassador said she was in Vietnam with her fiance Datuk Seri Jean Todt to make a public safety announcement on wearing helmets when she saw motorcycles used as "little cars".
"I think the highest number of people I saw was two parents and four kids on a motorcycle," said Yeoh at the launch of the road safety campaign here yesterday.
While preparing for the Vietnam event, Yeoh said she was horrified to find out that 1.3 million people died yearly in road accidents worldwide.
Statistics also show that 50 million people were injured on the roads every year and 500 children died every day globally just trying to get to school.
"I realised it was a responsibility, a chance for me to do something, to make a difference.
"Somebody has to do something as these victims need a voice," she said.
The Safe Steps Road Safety campaign features Yeoh in a series of 60-second educational videos and a 45-second video highlighting why road safety is a crucial issue.
Her sincerity and commitment to the cause was apparent, appearing in the videos pro-bono.
The videos show her educating viewers on simple driving safety steps, from keeping focused on the road by not drinking, eating or playing on the phone to wearing seat belts and driving within the speed limit.
"I think it is very fatalistic of people to think it is never going to happen to them."
"It is our responsibility, we must be part of the solution and embrace these steps to make it right, not just for yourselves but for the people you love."
"These are small steps which act as a reminder.
"What we can do is start with small simple steps and pass it on."
Todt, formerly Ferrari team general manager, said he felt the necessity to give something back to society after his past achievements.
"You hear of many natural disasters and diseases but road crashes are much more terrible and something we can control through education and law enforcement," said Todt, who is International Automobile Federation president.