x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Pedal car 'licence' for children will drive home road safety

Campaign starts tomorrow and will run in 12 schools

DUBAI // Schoolchildren will receive hands-on training as part of a road safety campaign that starts tomorrow.

Maj Gen Mohammed Said al Zafeen, the director of Dubai Police Traffic Department, stressed the importance of educating children about road safety, saying it would prepare them to be better drivers in the future.

"It is important that we begin road safety education at a tender age," he said. "Our combined efforts will help these future motorists to be much more aware of the importance of following road rules.

"The campaign will boost the broader goals we are working towards in making the roads a safer place to be on."

The "My First Licence - I Know My Road Rules" campaign aims to educate more than 5,000 pupils between the ages of five and nine across 12 schools. The campaign will run for three weeks.

The campaign is headed by Ciel Marketing & Events, and organiser Ms Roshanara Sait said its strength lies in its interactive approach.

"This campaign will have a great effect on children because it's designed in a way that will entertain and educate them at the same time."

Pupils will have the chance to drive in a pedal car through a mini road network set up at in their respective schools.

The circuit will include road signs, zebra crossings, signals, roundabouts and traffic signs. An instructor will be on hand to guide them as they go.

Upon completion of the course, the children will receive a mock licence endorsed by the Dubai Police, featuring the name, age and photograph of the child.

A sponsor of the event, Philippe Cabus, who is the managing director of Total Marketing Middle East, said the campaign was a preventive measure that would raise awareness among young people.

"It is our endeavour to share safety practices, especially with children who are a vulnerable segment of road users and future drivers", he said.

Susan, a British mother of three boys who asked to withhold her last name, said her children had received similar training on how to cross a road safely and likes the idea of more training.

"How many kids get killed crossing the road every day?" she said. "I definitely support the initiative because my children have learnt a lot from a similar campaign and know what measures to take when they have to cross the road."

She added: "My son always points out what is right and what is wrong when he sees people crossing the road."