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Jan 19 , 2011

Dubai, January 19, 2011 – Bridgestone Middle East & Africa FZE today announced details of its ‘Tyre Safety and Eco Station’ campaign which urges the region’s drivers to check their tyre pressure and tread in a bid to enhance driver safety and reduce the incidence of road traffic accidents. The campaign, which will tour malls across each of the six GCC states over the next six months, reflects not only the high incidence of road fatalities in the region, but also marks the start of the UN’s Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. “Driving with tyres at incorrect air pressure, or that are worn-out or damaged has serious safety implications,” says Mr. Takumi Kakara, Marketing Director, Bridgestone Middle East & Africa. “Our campaign, which will run in major malls across the GCC from February to June this year, will educate consumers on the importance of regular tyre checks and maintenance; focusing on how to properly check tyre air pressure, tread wear, and detect any signs of damage. Not doing so can have deadly impacts; for example, under-inflated tyres are prone to overheating – a problem which is amplified in the extreme weather conditions experienced by Gulf drivers. Over-inflated tyres also pose a real danger, causing problems with steering and cornering, particularly at high speeds. That’s why our message is simple – don’t put your family at risk, check your tyres regularly. For regular and professional assistance on tyre care and maintenance, we also recommend that drivers visit their local Bridgestone tyre service centre for help and advice.” The need for the Bridgestone campaign is clear - the World Health Organization’s Global Report on Road Safety (2009) recorded road deaths in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, which includes the GCC, as the joint highest in the world along with African nations. Within the GCC States, the UAE recorded the highest incidence of road fatalities at 37.1 per 100,000 population, far above the global average of 19 per 100,000. Second highest was Saudi Arabia, at 29, then Qatar at 23.7, and Oman at 21.3. Only Kuwait and Bahrain came in below the global average, at 16.9 and 12.1 road deaths per 100,000 people respectively. As well as pointing out the safety benefits of proper tyre checks and maintenance, the campaign also emphasizes the positive environmental impact of maintaining correct tyre pressure. Driving at the correct pressure reduces fuel consumption, which in turn minimises the environmental impact of a journey, and saves the motorist money. The ‘Tyre Safety and Eco Station’ campaign will launch on the first weekend of February in Muscat, Oman. During the roadshow, Bridgestone will distribute Tyre Safety booklets and a free Bridgestone Tyre Safety gauge that measures air pressure and tread depth. The campaign is scheduled to tour all the GCC countries in the coming months, visiting: Doha, Qatar in March; Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in April; Manama, Bahrain in May; Kuwait in May; and finally Dubai, United Arab Emirates in June. “Our goal is to educate and ensure the safety of drivers across the Gulf by guiding them through a simple process of tyre selection and maintenance,” said Mr. Kakara. “Well maintained and fit-for-purpose tyres are an integral part of safe driving. With Bridgestone’s advanced tyre safety, coupled with knowledge of correct tyre pressure and treads, drivers and their families can travel in confidence, save money, and help protect the planet.”

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