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Be Aware, Be Safe, At Every Moment: A Road Safety Campaign
According to the report prepared by the National Crime Records Bureau, Chennai has recorded the highest number of road accidents. The number is a staggering 9,845 cases in the year 2011, which is almost double compared to the previous year. Children are vulnerable groups to road accidents. Along with their age growth, they will inevitably be exposed to roads out of their homes.
The ‘Be Aware, Be Safe’ Road Safety Campaign was designed to address these issues at formative ages, specifically with school children, with impressionable minds. Educational measures have been advocated as a means of teaching children how to cope in a road environment with emphasis on following traffic rules. These key development areas formed the foundation for the need for sensitization and to create greater awareness for road safety measures.
The pilot of the campaign has been successful, where the Corporate Social Responsibility team at SBSC Chennai headed out to schools in the city to spread awareness on the behaviors that children have to be conscious of. The program was delivered by means of a resource kit which includes:
- A road safety matrix
- A staff-made video
- Fire extinguishers and first-aid kits for schools.
- Art materials (for art competition)
- Spot-quiz contest to gauge retention
This easy-to-use resource kit, designed for students, is aimed at the development of positive behavior and attitudes in young people – whether they are pedestrians, cyclists or passengers.
The program was delivered to children from various age-groups through an interactive session and an art competition. Post which, a video is shown with the do’s and don’ts of four major road safety aspects (Walking, Riding, Cycling, Crossing). The participant schools were in Chennai were:
- Sankara Senior Secondary School, Adyar
- PSBB Millennium, OMR
- Sunshine Montessori, Adambakkam
- Chettinad Vidyashram, R.A Puram
- Make a Difference (NGO), Injambakkam
It was heartening to see the response and a positive attitude towards road safety rules through commitment statements by the children such as:
- I will not stop vehicles myself and run across the road (7th Grade)
- I will not drive until I get a legal license (8th Grade)
- I promise not to disturb my father while driving (8th Grade)
- I will intervene when I see my parents not following rules of safety on the road (8th Grade)
- I will always wear seatbelts (9th Grade)
The team also made their way to a local NGO where the team interacted with the children from underprivileged backgrounds and spoke up for safety.
After this success, it has been planned to roll it out across a wider range of city schools and charitable institutions. This has also sparked a pan-India Road Safety campaign, where a module-approach has been undertaken (pilot in progress with two schools across 4 cities).
Expressing through art
Road safety matrix
Signing the safety commitment wall
Eric Wildschut, Hari Pakkam, Hamsini Radhakrishnan, Adarsh Sree Kumar, Swarna Rajamani, Edwin Arockia, Aswin Kumar, Sujatha Arunachalam, Lalitha Ramachandran, Jeethendra Arunselvam