Beirut, Lebanon, October 7, 2016: Funded by Goldman Sachs Gives and in collaboration with the Municipality of Maghdoushe, Kunhadi launched ‘Maghdoushe Target ZERO’ Pilot project in October 2016, in the objective of reducing fatal road traffic crashes to ZERO.
The pilot project, which was the first comprehensive road safety project launched in Lebanon, included road pavement rehabilitation, installation of safe crossings in front of a number of schools and city center churches, road safety awareness, post-crash care response, in addition to green street lighting through solar-powered light panels. Since it’s launch and eight months later, the project’s success exceeded its initial objective of halting fatal traffic crashes and stopped traffic crashes altogether.
‘Maghdoushe Target ZERO’ was nominated for the Global Road Safety Award in Fleet Safety Awards 2016 by Brake Charity UK. Despite the project not having won the prize, it was highly commanded during the awards ceremony that took place in London on September 29, 2016 at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole (UK).
In a statement, Professional Engagement Manager at Brake, Ms. Ellie Pearson, wrote “The Global Road Safety Award was introduced as a new category in our 2016 Awards, in order to recognise the hard work of professionals operating around the globe. We received some really strong submissions in this category, but Kunhadi’s initiative really stood out as a success, so we were really pleased to recognise their efforts with a high commendation.” Kunhadi values this award and opportunity to execute such a project as it brings to light the possibility of saving thousands of lives when all stakeholders - concerned authorities, organization, funders, paramedics and road users - join efforts to make it happen.
In July 2015, Kunhadi was the only organization based in Middle-East and Africa shortlisted for the Fleet Safety Awards 2015 organized by Brake Charity (UK), category "Road Safety In the Community Award" for its Taxi Night initiative, competing with international institutions most of which are enlisted in New York and/or London stock exchange market.
During the awards celebration, in October 2015, Kunhadi Taxi Night received a "highly commended" certificate for the innovative way to raise drunk driving awareness and encourage the use of Taxis after a night out.
Sponsored by FIA and in collaboration with ATCL, Kunhadi installed a safe crossing in front of Elias Abou Chabke School in Zouk Mikael.
Sponsored by Rotaract Club of Beirut Cosmopolitan, District 2452, Kunhadi installed a safe crossing in front of two schools in Badaro - Ecole Franciscaine and Lycee du Musee - to protect the safety of students while crossing the road, on May 7, 2015.
On the occasion of Women's International Day, the Green Party Lebanon honored Kunhadi Vice President Mrs. Lena Gebrane with a recognition award on March 5, 2015.
On the occasion of Mother's Day, St. Coeur Jdeide - Sadd El Baucheriyye administration and parents committee honored Kunhadi VP Mrs. Lena Gebrane with an emblem of recognition.
The famous Lebanese blog "A Separate State of Mind" named Kunhadi Vice President Mrs. Lena Gebrane one of the five most influential mothers in Lebanon for 2015 on the occasion of Mother's Day.
Seeing the high number of drunk-driving related crashes on New Year's Eve (NYE), Kunhadi decided in NYE 2012-2013 to offer free taxis to nightclubs to be offered for free to clients too intoxicated to drive.
Thanks to the success of this campaign, Kunhadi made it a yearly activity on every NYE and on 2014-2015, Kunhadi covered 60 Taxi rides and prevent over 60 people from risking their lives by drunk driving.
In collaboration with Rotary Club Tripoli, Kunhadi installed retro-reflective markings to highlight Palma curve and enhance the safety of this highway.
In collaboration with Roadster Diner, Kunhadi installed a safe crossing in front of the American University of Beirut (AUB). Located on AUB's main gate on Bliss Street, the safe crossing includes white stripes, pedestrians alert sign and cat-eyes to slow cars down.
Kunhadi installed a safe crossing in Sassine in collaboration with the area residents, who took upon themselves to enhance the safety of the road they use daily and approach Kunhadi for its expertise in this field.
The road from Antelias to Bekfayya is a curvy under-lit dangerous road where many car crashes occur fault of poor visibility, especially at night.
In collaboration with Kataeb, Kunhadi installed retro-reflective markings and road signs to improve the visibility and safety on this road.
Kunhadi recurrently launches drunk-driving awareness campaigns notably on New Year Eves, during which Kunhadi offered free Taxi rides to a select number of nightclubs to nightriders who are unable to drive due to alcohol consumption.
Kunhadi New Year’s Eve campaigns 2011 and 2012 had such an impact that on New Year’s Eve 2013, drunk-driving messages were automatically sent and highlighted by numerous organizations, companies and citizens.
Simultaneously, in 2013, the Ministry of Interior and Municipality followed Kunhadi steps and launched a campaign against drunk-driving and offered free Taxi rides to all people unable to drive due to alcohol consumption.
Taxi Night is a new party concept created by Kunhadi in 2007, whereby party attendees are prohibited from using their own cars. Instead, Kunhadi offers them Taxi rides from their houses to the venue and back to their houses safely.
The 11th edition of Taxi Night, which took place at White Club Beirut, was attended by a large number of celebrities and public figures who joined Kunhadi to raise awareness against drunk driving, to name a few:
- Former Minister of Interior Ziad Maroud
- Diva Haifa Wehbe, who made her first appearance in a road safety-related event during Taxi Night 11
- Writer and actor Georges Khabbaz
- Talk show host Tony Baroud and his wife Christina Sawaya
- Actress Carmen Lebbos
- F3 Champion and Kunhadi embassador Noel Jammal
- Comedy Night ™ team
- Mike Massi
Kunhadi held road safety conferences all around Lebanon, for over 16,000 student, employee and citizen.
Taxi Night is a new party concept created by Kunhadi in 2007, whereby party attendees are prohibited from using their own cars. Instead, Kunhadi offers them free Taxi rides from their houses to the venue and back to their houses safely.
This party, which takes place at the most prestigious night clubs in Lebanon, was created in the purpose of promoting the use of Taxi cars after a night out drinking instead of driving under the influence of alcohol.
What makes this awareness method more influential than other more classic ones is the experience it offers the youth. I.e. the guests experience for themselves the benefits of using a taxi car for transportation:
- Saves on Valet parking fees, which are mandatory in almost all night clubs in Lebanon
- Relieves the driver of worry that originates from finding a parking or handing the car over to the Valet
- Permits guests to consume alcohol more comfortably without being disturbed by driving under the influence of alcohol
Although Kunhadi offers free Taxi rides, guests are encouraged to drink moderately, avoid excessive alcohol consumption, and drinking water.
What started with as little as 100 attendees in 2007 grew to become a party that joins over 1000 young and older Lebanese guests in 2013, despite the sensitive security situation.
The success Taxi Night was met with by the Lebanese community formed a catalyst to the introduction of the culture of using Taxi cars after a night of drinking and year after year more and more parties starting adding Taxi fares to their tickets.
Proceeds collected from Taxi Night fund road safety projects by Kunhadi: installation of retro-reflective markings, installation of safe crossings, etc.
Statistics gathered from the software offered by Kunhadi to the Lebanese Red Cross showed that on Jbeil Highway more than 70% of car crashes were due to speeding. After Kunhadi analyzed the data it proved that enforcing the law on speeding alone could decrease car crashes by 40%.
The study was immediately presented to the Prime Minister Mr. Saad El-Hariri and Minister Mr. Ziad Baroud prompting them to implement the law immediately. The law was enforced for only three months and in fact decreased car crashes within that period by 40%.
In the aim of promoting visibility on the road, Kunhadi distributed more than 15,000 high-visibility jackets for free during road safety conferences and events.
Launching Seat Belt awareness campaigns in collaboration with the ministry of Interior and Municipalities have led to an increase in the usage of seat belts by 17%.
On July, 2011, Kunhadi was the first Lebanese non-governmental organization to receive the ISO 9001/2008 certificate
The yearly increase of toll of car crashes between 2001 and 2006 reached 17%, in Lebanon.
After long years of blaming the government and the bad infrastructure, Kunhadi came to spread awareness about the main 6 causes behind traffic fatalities:
Profits collected from fundraising events organized by Kunhadi are invested in the installation of retro-reflective markings and road signs to highlight non-visible curves or hazardous spots on several under-lit highways and roads.
GHVI (Global Helmet Vaccine Initiative) chose Kunhadi to spread awareness about the correct use of helmets
o Kunhadi distributed over 1,200 helmets to delivery boys free of charge.
o Kunhadi in collaboration with Minister of Interior and Municipalities Mr. Ziad Baroud offered conferences and 850 helmets to police motorists. Unfortunately, after the Minister left office, the helmets were not distributed and Kunhadi was not called for conferences.
In Lebanon, the misuse/lack of wearing the helmet while riding the motorcycle/bicycle is the third cause of death in traffic crashes.
With the support of USAid, Kunhadi created more than 32 animation short movies to explain the Lebanese traffic law in less than 20 seconds.
In 2007, the FIA Foundation was collecting 1.2 million signatures worldwide for a petition to submit to the United Nations to ask for Road Safety measures to be taken (by Governments, Private Sectors and NGOs) in the aim of saving millions of lives over the next decade.
Lebanon, through Kunhadi Association, has collected more than 17,000 signatures including signatures from most Members of Parliament and Ministers.
The UN General Assembly decided to initiate the Decade of Action for Road Safety from 2011 to 2020.
In collaboration with the USAID program, Kunhadi offered a new data collection software to the Lebanese Red Cross that would make the process of collecting traffic crashes data collection easier, more accurate and more detailed.
Seeing that the Red Cross deals with more than 80% of car crashes in Lebanon,
Kunhadi, in collaboration with USAID and the Road Safety Department of the World
Bank, has offered a 40 computers and a software that would allow a more thorough
data collection to the Red Cross.