An endeavour to make our roads safer
An endeavour to make our roads safer

By auther pic. Sarah Berry

May 30, 2018

An endeavour to make our roads safer

Picture Credit: BMW India Private Ltd.

Road transport remains the least safe mode of transport, with road accidents being a major cause of death. In order to combat this, several measures have been initiated by the government, but these needs to be supplemented by multiple other initiatives at different levels. The corporates also need to contribute to address these challenges. The automobile industry has been taking important steps for creating public awareness about road safety behaviour.


One of the effective approaches is to provide adequate training and awareness at an early age. This will help young children imbibe and practise road safety essentials and grow up with these values. One such initiative has been spearheaded by BMW India, in partnership with SEEDS, to conceptualize and design a unique road safety programme titled “BE SAFE. BE SMART”.


The program is focused on students in the age-group of 5-8 years (Class 1-3) and has two components - i) “In-Class workshop” which includes technology and non-technology aspects, and ii) “Simulation Model”, where students apply road safety techniques learnt during the workshop by riding in toycars and bikes in a simulated environment, thereby experiencing a live traffic situation.


The program educates them on various aspects of traffic rules, choices to be made to avoid breaking traffic rules and also take measures to keep themselves safe while travelling on public roads, identify reasons leading to an accident, role of emergency vehicles etc. The outdoor sessions help in giving a practical touch to the training program.


Says Vikram Pawah, President, BMW Group India: “Road safety is an important aspect of our Corporate Citizenship philosophy and we believe it is important to influence young minds and train them properly. Moreover, the dissemination of knowledge cannot be restricted to classrooms and has to be approached practically. Therefore, we find the simulation model critical in providing ‘hands-on’ experience to reinforce the learning and encourage long-term recall.”


The program feedback has been very encouraging. Aditya Gupta, Special Educator, Kendriya Vidyalya No. 2, Delhi Cantt. shares his experience: “I used to explain road safety concepts to my students in conventional way. With the simulation model, students experience a ‘live drive’ and are encouraged to use all traffic rules like zebra crossings and to always STOP, LOOK, LISTEN, THINK and then ACT. The facilitators guide students during the simulation to identify and minimize hazards with children also observing rules enthusiastically themselves so as to set an example. For me, this was also a good example of inclusive learning, teaching and experiencing.”


The program requires lot of preparation and pre-briefs. To familiarize school staff about the overall need, methodology, requirements and preparation of the programme, an orientation is conducted in every school prior to the workshop. These interactions are attended by principals, school counsellors and/or school teachers.


A pre-assessment consisting of questions on road safety is administered to ascertain the student’s existing knowledge. It is followed up by a post-test to evaluate the improvement in knowledge about road safety. Improvement of about 25% has been observed that indicates positive contribution of the intervention. At the end of the program, children are provided with a comprehensive booklet on road safety with interesting creative, interactive worksheets and summaries, besides providing important information about rules and regulations that every road user must follow.


Based on the encouraging feedback received from the pilot, the program has been scaled to cover 6000 students across 24 schools in Delhi-NCR. A total of over 5000 students have benefited since the launch of the program in 2017.


Road safety is an important subject, which needs early awareness in order to inculcate responsibility; and a combined effort by all stakeholders will successfully address the challenge of making our roads safer.


Impact-Story is a series on development and CSR interventions leading to some impacts on the ground. If you have a project, innovation or intervention that has changed the lives of a few people or a community, please share a brief note at Our Team will get back to you after validating the information for a detailed coverage. 


Sarah Berry, Specialist - Media Outreach and Communication, and Consultant - Public Diplomacy


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