Extending Road Safety Awareness

Under the company’s theme of “One Team – Customer First”, UMW Toyota Motor puts high priority and attention to customers’ needs and demands.  Toyota’s philosophy of improving the quality of life and contributing to the society where they operate their business is exemplified through innovative products and services, building and maintaining sound relationships with customers, business partners and employees, the preservation of the environment and honoring the language, law and culture of the society they live in.  CSR Malaysia gets to look at one of UMW Toyota Motor’s many CSR programmescalled Toyota Traffic Tots which is targeted at road safety issues and it is a non-profit initiative and effort in raising road safety knowledge among school children.

Toyota Traffic Tots, a road safety programme targeted at preschool children, reached a new milestone this year with the additional participation of ten more schools. Launched in 2012, the programme is an extension of Toyota’s Road Safety Programme initiated in 2006 to raise road safety knowledge among school children.

With programme partner Smart Reader Worldwide, the Toyota Traffic Tots has brought road safety tips and information to more than 4,000 preschool children aged 4-6 nationwide in the last two years. The programme that is supported by the Road Safety Department is now extended to another ten 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,” says President of UMW Toyota Datuk Ismet Suki. “We are very pleased that the Toyota Traffic Tots has been growing in popularity since its inception, an indication that it has created impact upon participating students, parents and teachers.”

Touted as a road safety programme with a difference, Toyota Traffic Tots targets preschool children, a 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 7 months.

Lessons are categorized 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 safely lessons need to start as early as possible. Toyota Traffic Tots programme also serves as a perfect complement to the Road Safety Education that is currently being taught in schools,” explains 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. Apart from the lessons in class, students are also required to bring worksheets home to be completed with their parents, making road safety a discussion and sharing session between parents and children.

The Toyota Traffic Tots programme is one of the three CSR pillars of UMW Toyota Motor aimed at road safety awareness, the other two being the Toyota Eco-Youth programme, a campaign to engage the youth in environmental awareness; and the Toyota Classics, a fund-raising concert for underprivileged communities. These pillars underscore the company’s philosophy of improving the quality of life and contributing to the society where they operate.