TOYOTA Traffic Tots, a road safety programme targeted at preschoolers, reaches new heights with the addition of 10 schools this year.
Launched in 2012, the programme is an extension of the car maker’s Road Safety Programme initiated in 2006 to raise road safety awareness among schoolchildren.
With programme partners Smart Reader Worldwide, the Toyota Traffic Tots has brought road safety tips and information to more than 4,000 preschoolers, aged four to six years old, in the last two years.
The programme, which is supported by the Road Safety Department, is now extended to another 10 private schools so that more children can have access to essential road safety lessons.
“As car makers and people with families, road safety remains a topic very close to our hearts,” said UMW Toyota president Datuk Ismet Suki.
“We are pleased that the Toyota Traffic Tots has been growing in popularity since its inception, an indication that it has created an impact on participating students, parents and teachers.”
Touted as a road safety programme with a difference, Toyota Traffic Tots targets preschoolers, an age group often overlooked by parents, schools and policy makers.
Using song, dance and role play, essential lessons related to road safety are taught one lesson every week for seven months.
Lessons are categorised into passenger safety and pedestrian safety for easier understanding.
Participating preschools have reported greater road safety awareness among parents in the last two years, now that they have “little traffic police” as their passenger.
“Statistics show that there is a high percentage of deaths and injuries among young children.
“In 2009 for instance, 15.5% of deaths caused by road traffic injuries involve children below 18, compared to 13.6% in 2007.
“With that, road safety lessons need to start as early as possible. The Toyota Traffic Tots programme also serves as a perfect complement to the Road Safety Education that is currently being taught in schools,” said Datuk Ismet.
Teachers who facilitate the Traffic Tots lessons are first provided intensive training on the programme modules before they are certified to teach the programme.