ANGELES CITY -- Volkswagen Philippines, in cooperation with the Philippine Global Road Safety Partnership (PGRSP) and Samsung, has conducted a two-day road safety seminar for children at the Ayala Marquee Mall over the weekend.
Engineer Alberto Suansing, secretary general of PGRSP, said that they organized the Child Safety Initiative of Volkswagen three years ago.
“We are teaching children about road safety. Although they cannot drive yet, at their tender age we are explaining to them the importance of road safety, Suansing said.
The project has set up a junior driving course as a miniature roadway, complete with road signs, signal lights and kiddie vehicles.
The driving course is set up in malls, schools, corporate events and inside the Volkswagen Philippines showroom. Children aged 4 to 8 learn the basics of road safety by actually driving through a mini community.
Aside from the simulated roadway, the children were exposed to a full course where they learn about road signs, road courtesy, proper driving techniques, and the importance of using the safety features of the car – such as seat belts and child seats.
“We are teaching them different kinds of road signs para maipapaalala ng bata sa matand kung ano yung mga dapat sundin,” Suansing said.
Je Borromeo, Volkswagen Philippines Corporate Social Responsibility and Special Projects manager, said they employed an interactive play during the workshop for an effective learning on the part of the participating children.
Borromeo said Volkswagen Philippines launched its Child Safety Initiative in April 2015 at the Manila International Auto Show.
The Philippine campaign is part of the global CSI strategy of the German automaker which has already rolled out in various countries, she said.
“So nag-evolve na po siya, this one [at Marquee Mall] is a junior driving course for children 4 to 8 years old. In some areas kapag galing na kami doon at nakapag junior driving course na kami in malls ang nilalagay naman ay yung steps to safety for children 9 to 12 years and for pedestrian safety naman,” Borromeo said.
Volkswagen has also tied up with Samsung for a virtual reality application using a VR gear where children may experience crossing and walking in a simulated road network, according to Borromeo.
The Child Safety Initiative is aimed to prevent accidents by teaching children and their parents of the possible dangers on the roads.
Aside from this, the program underscores the importance of the passive safety devices in passenger vehicles, especially the child safety seats.
In 2013, World Health Organization Global reported 1.25 million deaths each year due to traffic crashes or 3,400 deaths a day.
Studies revealed that wearing a seat-belt can reduce fatalities by up to 50 percent and among rear-seat car passengers by up to 75 percent.
Volkswagen stated that child seats for infants and booster seats for older children, greatly decrease the risk of death in a crash.