TV Program Draws Widespread Attention to Traffic Safety in Armenia

February 13, 2014

Every year there are more than 40,000 traffic accidents in Armenia, a disproportionately high number for such a small country. The Achilles Center for Protection of Drivers’ Rights, an NGO based in the capital city of Yerevan, has been working with a local production company (Art Site) to create a TV program that educates drivers about the causes and consequences of traffic accidents through computer-assisted visualization and analysis of real accidents.

Internews sponsored production of the program with a grant to Achilles.

Through an agreement with the traffic police, who monitor traffic cameras throughout Armenia, Achilles received instant notifications when an accident occurred and would immediately send its crew to the scene. They created 3D models of the collisions and trajectories of vehicles involved in each accident to show what happened and why.

They also developed segments on first aid with cooperation from the International Red Cross, the Armenian Ministry of Emergencies, and Armenian Ambulance.

In 2013, Achilles and Art Site shot and produced four pilot “Accident Zone” programs, which were broadcast to a national audience on the independent channel Kentron TV in December and January. The second program attracted 20 times more viewers than the first, indicating that word spread widely after broadcast of the first program.

Thanks to the program’s strong ratings, a local insurance company agreed to sponsor the program’s production for another year. Kentron TV has also agreed to continue supporting the program through in-kind investment.

Watch the program (in Armenian) on YouTube:

Internews’ work in Armenia is supported by USAID.