Having driven in the UAE for the past 12 years, every day is a challenge on the road and it can be overwhelming. Being a mom I do school runs for my 6-year-old son. I always educate myself about the road safety rules to ensure that I drive safe and my son was buckled up every time I took him for a ride. But now thanks to the initiative run by BMW Middle East even my son can get educated on road safety rules. It makes it much easier for me as a parent if my son is aware of the rules and buckles up even before I’d insist him to do the same. Such awareness not only helps the kids but the parents as well. I witness a lot of accidents while driving in Dubai and sometimes its scary to keep your eyes off the road even for a second as we cant predict what might happen. I still see a lot of parents use their mobiles and not buckle up their kids while driving which is sheer negligence. Such an initiative can help kids to influence the parents to follow road safety rules and use it as they grow older.
‘My First License – I Know My Road Rules’ is an interactive learning programme Supported by RTA( Road Transport Authority), KHDA (Knowledge & Human Development Authority) and Abudhabi Police to educate UAE school children on the importance of road safety awareness. The campaign was a success last year & was able to educate 5000 school children aged 6 to 9 years on the importance of learning the fundamentals of road safety. This year BMW ME together with local UAE importers, AGMC & Abudhabi Motors, and Ciel Events are extending their efforts to educate more youngsters in the UAE.
The programme takes place over 2 weeks and with the support of RTA, KHDA and Abu Dhabi police, this years edition of ‘My First License – I Know My Road Rules’ will educate and ensure a further 3000 students from nine schools across the UAE have an understanding of the basic road safety rules. The programme will be concluded by May 26th 2016 after covering schools in Dubai, Sharjah and Abudhabi.
BMW ME and Ciel Events, both of which are strong road safety advocates, have led the charge on promoting and educating audiences on key issues such as buckling up for many years and believe that education starts at a very young age.
“These children will one day be motorists on our roads. We therefore need to instil good road safety habits and ensure they are aware of their responsibilities as pedestrians, passengers and future drivers from an early age to ensure safer roads for the future,” commented Leanne Blanckenberg, Corporate Communications Manager for BMW Group in the Middle East. “We collaborated with Ciel Events for My First License™ – I Know My Road Rules™ because it does just that. It also builds upon our award-winning road safety campaign ‘Stay Alert. Stay Alive.’ which has been encouraging various stakeholders of different ages to buckle up, every time, since its launch in 2010.”
To create an exciting environment for the children, a mini road travel scenario is replicated within each school, including a network of road signs, zebra crossings, a roundabout and traffic signals. An instructor runs through basic road safety rules and teaches the youngsters the difference between key road signs.
Using miniature cars, the students then learn to navigate the road network by the RTA and police, who highlight how the road safety rules that were discussed in class previously can be applied in practice.
After successfully completing the challenge, and to make the experience even more engaging, each student is awarded an envelope containing a personalized plastic license card with their name and photo which is endorsed by the Abu Dhabi police, RTA and KHDA, alongside an interactive story book on road rules and a “We Know Our Road Rules” magnet.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), car accidents are the second biggest contributor to fatalities in the UAE and continue to grow every year. According to UAE traffic department figures, motorists between the ages of 22 and 30 were to blame for 21 deaths on the UAE’s roads since January, and 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 unfastened seat belts and 10 per cent for mobile phone use. Dubai Police recorded 49,643 cases of people using their mobile phones while driving last year, a 9 and 29 per cent increase compared to 2014 and 2013 respectively.
Deema Hussein, Traffic Awareness Manager for the Roads and Transport Authority welcomed the move by BMW Group Middle East and Ciel Events to extend the My First License™ – I Know My Road Rules™ campaign: “Statistics show that the education of children as future road users needs to be an ongoing priority, and as such, forms part of our broader efforts to making the UAE’s roads safer. No organisation, government entity, business or humanitarian group can tackle or solve the road safety crisis alone so we are happy to work together with the organisers to continue this innovative road safety learning programme that aims to instil good habits from an early age, which will protect them later in life.”
Col. Jamal Salem Al Amri, Head of Public Relations, Abu Dhabi Police GHQ (General Head Quarters), said: “Children are extremely vulnerable and it is our duty to ensure that they have the right guidance to better their lives and their future. Programmes such as My First License™’ – I Know My Road Rules™ are created to set them on the right path. Our support for this event stems from the fact that as a policy to intend to reach out to all sections of society and to be able to support more conscious efforts to build a better environment, whether it is on the roads or on any other place. It also strengthens our efforts to ensure that we have safer roads now and in the future.”
“My passion to educate children about the benefits of knowing and understanding road safety habits has always spurred me into creating avenues to spread this message further,” said Roshanara Sait, campaign Founder and Director of Ciel Events. “The whole idea is to form an exciting and interactive environment where the children can have a lasting memory of the learning experience and to inspire them to live by the rules of the road. My First License™’ – I Know My Road Rules™ has had the support of BMW Group Middle East for the second year in a row and it has definitely brought in a greater amount of quality with immense creativity in the learning tools that we provide to the children. I am extremely thankful to all our supporters and we hope that as a team we can make a difference in the lives of the children we work with.”
The participating schools this year are:
- Wellington International School
- Victoria International School
- Al Ittihad Private School
- The Apple International School
- GEMS Royal Dubai School
- Al Ameen School
- Al Bateen School
- GEMS Cambridge International School
- GEMS Winchester School
Lets be part of this campaign and spread the word for a better tomorrow!