Last Saturday my son participated a school event sponsored by Volkswagen Philippines’ Child Safety Initiative (CSI). Perhaps this is one of the most fitting answers how to rescue our children from the frustrating and deliberately rude drivers in the Philippines—start them young; teach them the value of courtesy, and aid on their protection on the road.
No, this is not an elaborate course but it is a good step to create awareness and strengthen the importance of discipline. How I hope Department of Education (DepEd) would emulate the concept and integrate “Child Road Safety” in the actual school subject curriculum.
By the time our kids are driving, it is possible that none of them would park/stop at the pedestrian lanes, beat the red signal, over speed, block the drive way, stand completely clueless on the road sign meanings, and just be plain notorious while on the steering wheel.
The initiative has been giving four to eight-year-old children an orientation on traffic rules and sample driving experience using a simulated road system since its launch at the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) last April 9, 2015.
The 50-square-meter driving course has a working stop light, road guides, and VW push cars from Germany as part of the educational program. After completion of the driving course tasks, a junior driver’s license is usually issued to the participants (ours shall be given after the semestral break).
Despite the short exposure time (about one hour for the briefing and simulation then add up for the waiting), my son becomes more participative and extra cautious regarding street signals and signs. He would even point when he sees usual violation as jay walking or drivers not in proper lane.
The CSI also held a partnership with Ayala and Robinson’s Malls to attract more kids. The organizer is also reaching out to various schools to broaden the coverage of their advocacy.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), road traffic injury ranks high as a cause of death among children aged 5 to 18.
- 186,300 – The number of children who die yearly because of road traffic crashes worldwide.
- 510 – The estimated number of children who die every day due to road traffic crashes.
- 4th – The rank of road traffic injury as a cause of death among children aged 5 to 9 years old.
- 1st – The rank of road traffic injury as a cause of death among young teens aged 15 to 17.
- Of the youngsters injured or killed on the road, 38% are pedestrians.
- Some 36% of the kids harmed on the road travel by cars. According to the WHO report, children are at greater risk in the front and back seats when unrestrained.
- Other modes of transportation that cause death are bicycle (6%) and motorcycle (14%), often without helmets.
Schedule on the VW PH website is not updated as of writing this but good thing their Facebook page admin is quick to reply.
So here goes the next trip:
~ November 7-8 at Robinsons Place Manila
~ November 14-15 at Kidzania, BGC.