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FORD THAILAND LAUNCHES ‘DRIVING SKILLS FOR LIFE’ DRIVER EDUCATION CAMPAIGN


          FORD THAILAND LAUNCHES 'DRIVING SKILLS FOR LIFE' DRIVER EDUCATION CAMPAIGN Successful global program is adapted to suit Thailand's driving environment
          Ford Thailand today launched Ford Motor Companys successful Driving Skills for Life program in cooperation with the Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation, and the top-rated Jor Sor 100 road traffic radio station.
          The campaign was launched to a group of Thai media, who were briefed on the driving tips and techniques taught in Driving Skills for Life, followed by a practical driver's training session at Motor Sport Land. Ford Thailand’s brand ambassador, Amita Tata Young, also participated in the event and spoke on the need for programs like Driving Skills for Life to help improve driver education and driver safety in Thailand.
          Driving Skills for Life will be offered free to program trainees, and mixes classroom learning and practical training to help increase awareness of safe driving techniques that also help improve fuel efficiency. The training has been customized for Thailand to reflect the local driving environment and road conditions, and will be offered through a series of events open to the public and similar to today's event.
          The Driving Skills for Life program will be rolled out next month at weekend events in Bangkok, and then introduced in four upcountry regions through the remainder of the year. The upcountry training sessions will include as many as 600 interested drivers, who will learn practical skills and techniques for both safe and fuel-efficient driving.
          “Road safety is a very serious issue in Thailand, and also one that's highly relevant to our business. Driving Skills for Life is an ideal way for Ford and the AIP Foundation to work with the Thai private sector to leverage our collective expertise and help make a difference in driver safety on Thailand's roads,” said Saroj Kiatfuengfoo, senior vice president of Ford Thailand.
          Reducing the toll of road traffic accidents across the region is a key objective of the Driving Skills for Life program. The World Health Organization estimates that road traffic accidents will become the third-leading cause of premature death for all ages by 2020, accounting for a staggering 1.2 million deaths every year. In Thailand, road traffic accidents in 2007 were responsible for nearly 12,500 deaths and more than 79,000 injuries.
          According to Greig Craft, president of the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation (AIPF), programs like Driving Skills for Life are critical to address growing concerns about road safety in the emerging markets of Asia and Africa.  The organization, which has recently opened an office in Bangkok, is a member of the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration, is dedicated to public awareness and education programs on road safety.
          “This is a huge step in the right direction,” Craft said.  “In developing countries like Thailand, motorization is happening so quickly that road traffic injuries and deaths are reaching an epidemic proportion. People are taking to the road in ever-greater numbers, usually without the training to drive properly or the fundamental understanding of driving skills. Driver training, education and public awareness are imperative to making a difference.”
          Dr. Prapaipat Komapat, vice president of Pacific Corporation (Jor Sor 100), said: “Road safety is a national issue that needs to be addressed by both the private and public sectors. Ford, AIP and Jor Sor 100 share a similar interest in road safety, so we're proud to support the Driving Skills for Life program. We'll be helping to save lives, as well as helping drivers to reduce their fuel consumption. We hope our efforts will encourage Thai drivers to take road safety more seriously."

          Making Serious Learning Engaging
          Key focal points of the training include awareness of road and traffic conditions, safe driving techniques and methods to drive more economically with reduced environmental impact.
          “The techniques used for safe driving are essentially the same for economical, fuel-efficient motoring,” said Saroj. “So, driving steadily at a reasonable engine speeds is not only safer, but can also help drivers improve fuel efficiency by up to 25 percent, as well as reduce CO2 emissions.”
          Economical driving training includes anticipating road conditions, applying fuel-efficient driving techniques, avoiding speeding and keeping a vehicle properly maintained for optimal fuel economy.  Safe driving skills focus on the use of safety belts, recognizing and anticipating changing traffic conditions, avoiding distraction and maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles in traffic.
          “Inspiring safe driving is the biggest single step we can make to reducing road traffic accidents," added Dr. Prapaipat. “Driving Skills for Life will help drivers be more aware of the conditions around them and how important their actions to road safety.”
          “It's great to see Ford, a leader in safety, doing something about this critical issue,” said Craft. “Driving Skills for Life is a public-private partnership that effectively involves government and non-government organizations. We believe it will be the catalyst for further action to improve road safety as nations across this region deal with rapid changes on their roads.”
          The introduction of Driving Skills for Life in Southeast Asia is made possible by a Ford GlobalGiving Campaign grant. This is the first Asian initiative for Ford GlobalGiving, which is a campaign of the Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services.

          For more information about Driving Skills for Life Program and participation, contact Ford Hotline at Tel. 02-686-5899 or Jor Sor 100. 

          Notes to Editors:
          Separate from Ford Motor Company, the Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services is committed to creating opportunities that promote corporate citizenship, philanthropy, volunteerism and cultural diversity for those who live in the communities where Ford does business.  Established in 1949 and made possible by Ford Motor Company profits, the Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services supports initiatives and institutions that foster innovative education, auto-related safety, and American heritage and legacy.  The Ford Volunteer Corps, established in 2005, continues Ford's legacy of caring worldwide.  Through the Volunteer Corps, salaried employees, union members, retirees and their families participate in a wide range of volunteer projects in their communities.
          Asia Injury Prevention Foundation's mission is to reduce the rising number of traffic fatalities in developing Asian countries, and to raise awareness of their social, economic, and human impact. Asia Injury Prevention Foundation is a non-profit organization, listed as a tax-deductible 501 (c) 3 public charity by the U.S. government.  It is a member of the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration. For more information on the AIPF, please visit www.asiainjury.org

          For more information regarding the Driving Skills for Life program, please visit
          www.drivingskillsforlife.com.

          Contact: 
          Duangkamon Isarapandh        Neal McCarthy
          Ford Thailand                Ford Motor Company, Asia Pacific and Africa
          Tel. 0 2686 4662, Mobile 08 19227474     Tel. 0 2686 4319
          disarapa@ford.com            nmccart5@ford.com