On May 11, 2017, the Municipality of Beirut launched a new campaign under the title of “Let’s cross the road safely” in partnership with Beirut Police and Kunhadi, and in collaboration with the FIA Foundation, Automobile et Touring Club du Liban and Porsche Club Lebanon, during a press conference at Le Gray hotel, in the presence of representatives from the military and security forces.
Following the National Anthem, Kunhadi President, Mr. Fady Gebrane expressed his appreciation for the Municipality’s support for road safety and proceeded to explain the details of the campaign and its components.
“This campaign is launched in parallel with the United Nations Global Road Safety Week and coincides with the launch date of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011 - 2020 on May 11, 2011, to further build on Kunhadi’s previous efforts to raise road safety awareness among the Lebanese public, notably regulations revolving around pedestrian safe crossings”, Gebrane said.
The campaign will include:
⁃ Rehabilitation of over 10 safe crossings around Beirut
⁃ Coordination with Beirut Police to implement the law strictly on these crosswalks
⁃ Broadcast of three short video tips explaining articles from the Lebanese Traffic Law on TV channels
⁃ Outdoor campaign to remind road users to respect pedestrian crosswalks
⁃ Road Safety conferences at schools and universities
⁃ Distribution of flyers explaining the roles of both pedestrians and drivers around crosswalks
Gebrane cited the Internal Security Forces’ traffic crash [preliminary] statistics for 2016, showing that 21% (4879) of traffic injuries were pedestrians, and 38% (477) of those killed on the road, were also pedestrians.
Commander of Beirut Police Unit General Mohamed Al-Ayoubi extended the warm greetings of Director-General of the Internal Security Forces Major General Imad Othman to the guests, thanking the Municipality of Beirut and Kunhadi for their efforts to raise awareness about the New Lebanese Traffic Law. He emphasized the police’s resolution to activate the traffic law “especially regulations that concern traffic tickets” while highlighting collaborations with the civil society.
Beirut Mayor, Mr. Jamal Itani, started off by expressing his gratitude for Beirut Police and Kunhadi for their determination and effort to improve road safety in our country stating that collaborations with credible and reliable organizations affirm the Municipality’s commitment to include these organizations in its projects. The Mayor explained that this campaign falls within the framework of the Municipality’s comprehensive project working on creating a smooth mobility within the city of Beirut.
Along the span of 2 months, Beirut police will distribute informational flyers on a number of crossroads starting from Mohammed El-Amin mosque to Beirut Down Town, in parallel with a series of road safety conferences for young students. He added that the Municipality is currently widening sidewalks so that pedestrians could use them comfortably.
Mr. Itani concluded his speech saying “we are perfectly aware that the responsibility is equally shared by both drivers and pedestrians. By cooperating and collaborating, we will make a significant change”.
At the end of the press conference, the Mayor invited attendees to cross the road on the newly rehabilitated pedestrian safe crossing.