PROVIDING ROAD SAFETY EDUCATION TO PRESCHOOLERS
Road safety education is considered to be an essential component of teaching children to become independent and safe road users. Whether they are a pedestrian, cyclist or a passenger, it is important for them to learn the potential dangers and risks as well as the ways of keeping safe. Learning the fundamentals from an early age has also been proven to lead to safer behaviours in later life.
Smart Reader® Worldwide together with programme partner UMW Toyota explored this further with Toyota Traffic Tots, a road safety programme aimed at preschool children. The programme is duly supported by the Road Safety Department.
Officiated by Dato’ Dr Tam Weng Wah, the Director General of the Road Safety Department, the programme moved into its second year with a children’s carnival held at the Bukit Kiara Equestrian and Country Resort recently. To commemorate the occasion, Smart Reader® Worldwide sponsored goody bags filled with fascinating party favors and exclusive gifts for the children.
Also present were Dr Richard Ong, Chief Executive Officer and Dato’ Dr K H Wang, Group Executive Director of Smart Reader® Worldwide, Mohd Shamsor Mohd Zain , Director of Marketing, UMW Toyota Motor, teachers, parents and students from Smart Reader Kids®centres, government officials as well as staff from Smart Reader® Worldwide and UMW Toyota.
“The rising rates of road accidents are due to a lack of respect among road users. This includes not respecting other road users, modern infrastructure such as highways and road signs, even their own vehicles and passengers. Road safety can be significantly improved if values such as respect, patience and diligence are practiced,” said Dato’ Dr Tam Weng Wah in his welcome speech.
He also mentioned on the Road Safety Department’s campaigns in recent years, such as the No-Phone Zone and the United Nations’ Decade of Action for Road Safety from 2011-2020, suggesting that the involvement of children to remind parents to drive or walk safely can make a big difference.
Dato’ Dr Tam also expressed his delight to know that UMW Toyota Motor has partnered with Smart Reader® Worldwide in educating road safety to preschool children. With more than 21,000 million vehicles on the roads today, road safety lessons need to start as early as possible.
“The Toyota Traffic Tots would serve as a perfect complement to the Road Safety Education that is currently being taught in all public schools,” he stated.
In his speech, Dr Richard Ong explained that the safety of the children should not be taken lightly. As a matter of fact, the responsibility should be a matter of concern of every individual as it is better to take all necessary measures to ensure safety and prevent tragedy.
Dr Ong also revealed that the children have appointed themselves as traffic marshals. They give gentle reminders to their parents to remain vigilant where road safety is concerned.
“The programme has been effective in educating not only the children but the adults as well due to the creative way by which each lesson is taught,” added Dr Ong.
The programme, which was conducted at only ten selected Smart Reader Kids® centres last year and benefitted more than 500 students, is being extended to close to 300 plus centres this year.
Last year, the lessons which consisted of ten modules, involved the use of songs, role plays and worksheets to engage the attention of the children.
This year, the lessons are extended to parents, where they have to help with the worksheets and sign off to indicate that they have done the homework on road safety together with their children.
The successful Lesson Plan Contest among teachers will also be maintained this year, with an addition of a brand new nationwide colouring contest among children at all Smart Reader Kids®centres.
Since the commencement of the Toyota Traffic Tots campaign and inclusion of road safety as part of the Smart Reader Kids® curriculum, parents have been providing positive feedbacks on its effectiveness.
Representatives from Road Safety Department of Malaysia, UMW Toyota Motor, Smart Reader®Worldwide with students of Smart Reader Kids® at the Toyota Traffic Tots Carnival 2013.