Giving kids the belt
Talking tough to get road safety message across
Road accidents are the second biggest contributor of deaths in this country – Leanna Blankenberg, BMW
A new road safety campaign wants to get children into the habit of wearing seatbelts from a young age to help cut down on the number of road deaths.
The move by BMW Middle East in 20 schools in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah seeks to reinforce the importance of buckling up.
Car importers AGMC and Abu Dhabi Motors are also taking part in My First Licence - I Know My Road Rules.
It creates a mini road travel scenario with instructors teaching students aged six to nine about road safety.
“Road accidents are the second biggest contributor of deaths in the country and we want to make sure we try and bring down these statistics,” said Leanna Blankenberg, Head of Corporate communications, BMW, Middle East.
“The UAE traffic department reported drivers aged 22-30 were to blame for 21 deaths in UAE, since January 2016. We believe introducing good driving behaviour among children is vital to changing the driving habits in younger people.
“These children will one day be motorists on our roads.” More than 100,000 serious traffic offences were recorded in Abu Dhabi during the first quarter of this year, of which 18 per cent were for not wearing seatbelts.
“When we started the campaign in 2010, we did some research among our customers across the GCC and learnt that many of them admitted do not buckle up,” said Blankenberg.
“Others said they avoid it because the kids don’t like it - which means a lot of people still do not realise how important it is.
“Bringing about a change among adults is tricky. If we instil the culture of buckling up from a young age, once the kids grow up, they will feel uncomfortable like a naked feeling or something is missing when the belt is not on.”
ON THE ROAD: Children take part in the workshop