AAP Brings the “Stay Bright to Stay Safe” Golden Rule to Schoolchildren in Lipa
In the classroom, children who are bright get all the awards. On the road, children who stay bright, stay alive.
On July 27, 2018, the Automobile Association Philippines (AAP) went to the Bulacnin Elementary School in Lipa, Batangas to teach students how they, as pedestrians, can avoid being road crash casualties.
“We wanted to focus on ‘Stay Bright’ since this is one of the golden rules from the #3500LIVES campaign that is most applicable to school children,” said AAP advocacies manager Cynthia Reyes.
According to the World Report on Child Injury Prevention by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund, for every child who dies due to a road crash, 254 children need hospital treatment and four are left with a permanent disability.
In cooperation with Principal Purification Hernandez and with the help of faculty members Lita Tolentino and Sherina Linang, 300 students from Grades 5 and 6 filled the gymnasium to learn how the simple act of wearing bright clothes or having a bright item on their clothing can keep them safe on the road.
“Children are the most vulnerable road users especially in our country where the rural roads are often narrow with no lamp posts to keep the path lit and visible for any type of vehicle passing,” Reyes says. “Small children who walk on the side of the road won’t be easily noticed by the drivers of speeding cars, trucks or motorcycles.”
AAP advocacies coordinator Nikko Bustamante explained to the students the meaning of different road signs found around schools such as the Stop, Pedestrian Crossing and No Blowing of Horn. He also showed them the appropriate pavement markings where they should cross the street.
Aside from the classroom session, the students were treated to some snacks and were given #3500LIVES campaign shirts and reflectorized zipper tags for their schoolbags.
AAP advocacies consultant Marte Perez showed the children how to put the tags on their school bags and what it did. She took a flashlight and pointed it at one of the student’s zipper tags.
“The tags will help you become more visible to oncoming vehicles from miles away especially during the dawn, dusk, night time and rainy season. The beam from their headlights will strike the reflectorized tag and the light will bounce off, signaling to drivers that there is someone in front of them,” Perez explained.
Conspicuity of Tricycles Used as School Buses
Students weren’t the only ones who learned about road safety that day as 60 members of the local Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association and several barangay employees headed by Councilor Andy de Castro were also given a short lecture on staying bright.
“In the Philippines, tricycles commonly function as school buses, transporting children kids to and from the school since they can fit through narrow streets,” Reyes explained. “We want to make sure that tricycle drivers understand their responsibility as road users and help them get kids safely to their destination.”
After a lecture on traffic signs and road markings, the AAP staff with the help of the drivers placed reflectorized stickers on the front, at the back and on the sides of the tricycles. Like the reflectorized zipper tags, the stickers will help the tricycles become more visible to other vehicles on the road.
Aside from the stickers on their tricycles, the drivers and barangay staff were given #3500LIVES campaign shirts, booklets of the Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code and reflectorized vests.
AAP’s #3500LIVES campaign in Bulacnin Elementary School was implemented with the help of a grant from the FIA Road Safety Grant Programme.
Highlighting “Stay Bright” from the #3500Lives campaign, the Automobile Association Philippines (AAP) taught 300 students of Bulacnin Elementary School, 30 tricycle drivers and several representatives of the local barangay of Buclanin in Lipa, Batangas on how the Golden Rule can help save lives on the road.
AAP advocacies manager Cynthia Reyes with one of the students who were given #3500Lives campaign shirts and reflectorized keychains with whistles.
AAP advocacies coordinator Cate Calaranan attaches a white reflectorized sticker to the front section of a tricycle which, when struck by the headlights of oncoming vehicles, will help drivers see the tricycle approaching them.
By learning from the #3500Lives campaign how to “Stay Bright,” tricycle drivers and students became safer and better road users.