Telenor’s sponsorship of traffic police huts are drawing mixed reactions from drivers.
The Norwegian telco has inked an agreement to spruce up traffic huts in Yangon and Mandalay, outfitting the booths with a Telenor logo and an LED screen displaying a set of traffic rules in Myanmar language.
Telenor Myanmar CEO Petter Furberg said it has not paid any money to the authorities.
“The only cost Telenor has is painting and fixing the booths, as some were in a pretty bad state,” he told The Myanmar Times last month.
The traffic booths stand out on the city’s roads, and the move has generated opinions both for and against.
“Even if the messages can be difficult to read for drivers, their passengers can read them easily and learn the traffic rules,” said taxi driver U Moe Thee. “Taxi drivers and passengers must follow rules – there’s no extra lives, and body parts can’t be replaced easily.”
U Moe Thee said it is a good mix of advertising for the company and for the benefit of road users.
Other drivers opposed the booths, saying it brings advertising too close to state functions.
“Education drivers and road users is a good idea – but I’m so ashamed of my government,” said taxi driver U Maung. “Actually, the government should be doing this on its own, but it has no funds for this … Telenor is not under the government and is only a private company, and the Ministry of Home Affairs should be responsible.”
“People could assume that Telenor has authority or support from the government – I think it’s an ugly feature,” he said.
Traffic police captain U Win Lwin said the traffic police do not own the huts, pointing reporters to Region authorities, who declined to comment on the booths.