Partnership is the key to success in any activity. That largely explains the success of “Safety and Mobility” for all programme. In Turkey for instance, Total, one of the world leading oil companies and GRSP priviliged partner, has joined hand with Renault to raise the children awareness on road safety, by financing around one third of it. That cooperation and efforts have born fruits. The programme has been running since eight years in the country. Moroever, this year, the Turkish team was ranked third for the category of secondary or high schools during the global contest held in Paris.
Elif Birkan, Corporate Communications Manager at Total in Istanbul tell GRSP MENA about the project components in Turkey and how Aydin and Merve have become the best friends of Turkish children.
What would explain Total involvement in Road Safety, especially in Children one?
Road safety is one of the major problem in Turkey. And the children are the future drivers . Therefore we decided to involve in Road Safety to teach the young minds about the importance of road safety so that they become more attentive drivers in future who will respect the traffic rules.
How was the programme adapted to Turkey?
The programme was analyzed and adapted to Turkey by a commission of pedagogues, communicators, designers, and specialists on traffic and road safety. The adaptation is approved by the Ministry of National Education, and advised for 2nd grades. The alien hero Woosh’s name stayed the same; the children’s names were changed as Aydin and Merve.
What were the challenges and difficulties ?
In the early years of the project, a crucial effort was made so that schools endorse it. Our aim was to convince schools that this was not a short term advertising campaign, but a programme that is permanent and intended for social benefits. Educational and introductory meetings including governorships were organized in every province. The Association of Preventing Traffic Accidents and the media contributed played an important role in the project being accepted and adopted by the society and by the academic institutions. Today, we can say that the Project is adopted by institutions and schools, and it is put into practice to a large extent (88% according to the survey conducted by IPSOS KMG).
Were you able to measure its impact on children?
A survey was conducted by IPSOS, a research company, at the 8th year of the programme. Results were as follow:
- 98% of children obey traffic rules
- 87% of them ask their parents about the meanings of the traffic signs they do not know
- 84% are more careful than they were before when crossing a street
- 81% discuss traffic rules when their parents are driving
- 80% walk on the side of the pavement, not in the middle.
- 77% alert their parents when the latter do not abide by traffic rules
- 69% warn their parents when they do not fasten their seatbelts