- 100,000 clear (or see-through) umbrellas distributed to children in 120 elementary schools for two years - Kim Jong-seok appointed as Traffic Safety Ambassador; ‘Kids First’ slogan announced - Various activities like children drawing traffic safety pictures, face painting sessions and more
In 2010, over 14,095 traffic accidents involving children were reported in Korea. Out of those, the death toll totalled 126 cases, while 17,178 injuries were reported. A total of 733 cases were accidents that occurred within school zones, with nine deaths and 760 injuries, showing a 29 percent increase in deaths compared to last year (as of 2010 traffic accident statistics by the Department of Police for children under 13). The risk of accidents increases by a significant margin on rainy days, calling for the need to find preventative solutions involving children on rainy days.
Auto parts specialist MOBIS announced that it will once again distribute 100,000 see-through umbrellas to students in 120 elementary schools across the country, starting in June until the end of the year, thus protecting children from the dangers of traffic accidents.
MOBIS declared road safety for children and distributed see-through umbrellas in an event held at Munseong Elementary School in Seoul. Many people attended, including 200 children from the 2nd and 3rd grades, school representatives, Traffic Policy Chief for the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs Chung Il-young, Korea Transportation Safety Authority Director Chung Sang-Ho, Head of Korea Green Mothers Organization Kim Eun-ju, the governing body of school parents and MOBIS president Jeon Ho-seok.
At the event, MOBIS announced the company’s new ‘Kids First’ slogan as a promise to improve children’s safety and declared the ‘Social Promise for the Safety of Children on the Roads’, outlining the roles that the government, corporations, families, schools and drivers must play to guarantee safety for children.
There was also an animation with characters in the sand portraying the purpose and goal of the clear umbrellas and a video of celebrities with traffic safety messages for children. Each of the great contributors to traffic safety for children that were selected by organizations received merit awards.
In his opening speech, MOBIS president Jeon Ho-seok said that “corporations and the community need to make increased efforts to keep children away from danger on the roads, starting with safe driving practices in school zones,” and added, “I hope that we can make this commitment so that children can be rest assured and safely play in our communities.”
Before the event, MOBIS appointed Kim Jong-seok as the Traffic Safety Ambassador in a ceremony at the MOBIS headquarters on May 26. Kim is the host of the ‘Ding Dong Deng Kindergarten’ TV show airing on EBS and MOBIS asked him to play an active role as a spokesperson for road safety for children.
Children tend to be less attentive and often cannot make quick judgments, putting them at higher risk of traffic accidents on rainy days, when part of their vision is obscured by umbrellas. Particularly during windy weather conditions, children pull the umbrellas closer to them, inadvertently blocking their own view from approaching cars and structures, creating very dangerous situations.
MOBIS has thus produced umbrellas using lightweight aluminum and glass-fiber reinforced plastic to prevent them from bending or breaking in strong wind conditions. The umbrellas are made using a reflective material so that drivers can easily spot children in darker, rainy weather. The handles also have a whistle that children can blow to signal danger.
Teacher Seong Ki-baek of Wusin Elementary in Seoul, one of the schools that participated in the clear-umbrella campaign last year, said that the “MOBIS road safety campaign for children became the turning point that raised awareness and caught the attention of the community.”
In a survey that MOBIS conducted with teachers and school parents in 12 elementary schools in Korea, 95 percent of the 350 respondents said that ‘clear umbrellas help children keep safe in the rain,” while 85 percent said that this campaign will ‘help raise awareness about children’s safety on the road’. MOBIS will be conducting annual surveys to find out about what can be improved in the campaign.
In addition to the clear umbrella campaign to promote safety for children and good driving habits, MOBIS will be holding various activities for children, such as drawing pictures about traffic safety, with the Korea Transportation Safety Authority. The events will be held in the four regions in which MOBIS maintains offices in (Gangwon, Chungcheong, Yeongnam, Honam regions). Other than drawing, there will be games, quizzes, face painting and more, to get children involved.
MOBIS operates the ‘Kids Auto Park’ in collaboration with Hyundai Kia Motor, an educational facility for road safety for children located in the Children’s Grand Park area in Seoul. Moreover, the company has been making various efforts to prevent accidents particularly involving children as well as distributing an informational CD for road safety for children.