Engaging youth in Road safety discussion through Arts and creativity
We are all too familiar with the loud sound of screeching tires followed by a huge bang and high-pitched sirens rushing to the scene. The sounds that one would hear if you happen to be near or at the scene of a car crash. Road traffic crashes are a global issue that societies the world-over have become all too familiar with and are almost accustomed to now. However, this is something that we cannot normalize because the rate of road crashes and carnage-related death is not normal. In the world we live in today, we cannot avoid interacting with other road users on a daily basis no matter who they may be from lorry drivers to cyclists, pedestrians to motorcycle riders. However, plenty of youth today are living with the great risk of not reaching their intended travel destinations due to the high number of deaths that occur on the world’s roads annually.
In light of this, many organizations have opted to use traditional means to sensitize the public on road safety issues including the use of posters, TV commercials and radio messages however,the traditional approaches do not appear to have as much impact as intended because the problem only seems to be getting worse. Bearing this in mind, it is an opportune time for road safety NGOs to adopt more creative and innovative methodologies to both create awareness and educate audiences on this issue in a manner that will encourage them to participate and feel engaged. Some of the approaches that may be utilized are art creation,10 crafts-making, the drawing of routes and journey maps as well as the playing of traditional and digital games that are educational in nature.
Creative methods such as those listed above are known to have positive benefits such as improving memory, building critical thinking skills and the production of endorphins within the human body. They encourage audiences to have candid conversations about topics that may otherwise have been difficult to tackle given how sensitive they may be in nature, especially one such as that of road safety and give them a platform to share their stories in an honest,undiluted manner, which is what we truly need at this juncture.
Road carnage is a problem that is largely caused by human error and if creative methods of road safety advocacy and education can target not only people’s minds but their hearts as well, I am optimistic that deaths caused by car crashes will one day become an issue of the past.
PICTURES MADE BY MIJIDE KEMOLI
WRITTEN BY MIJIDE KEMOLI
PUBLISHED BY NKUMBUYE AMI