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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

PRESS RELEASE: UMW Toyota Crowns The Winner Of Toyota Traffic Tots Programme

The Toyota Traffic Tots programme ended on an artistic note with an art competition that drew almost 700 participants from participating private schools. The top three winners were awarded MPH cash vouchers valued at RM700, RM500, RM300 respectively, while 5 consolation winners walked home with MPH vouchers worth RM100.

The art contest, held from September to mid October, was meant to complement the existing Toyota Traffic Tots programme for children that were initiated in 2011. Conducted among Year 1 students, the contest required participating students to complete a picture of a child with one hand outstretched, as if to hold his parent’s hand, and have it coloured. 

Sri KL, Subang Jaya, made a sweeping win, with all three top winners and two consolation winners coming from that school. First prize went to Liew Jo Ee, followed by Bianca Sherilyn Lopez in second place and Chai Pei Na in third place. Megan Reyie Lee and Aiden Lim Shi Feng won consolation prizes.

The other consolation prizes went to Farisha Firozdin from Sri UCSI Subang Jaya, Aleesya from Beaconhouse Sri Inai, Petaling Jaya and Laranya Vatsula Chanduru from Sri Dasmesh Kuala Lumpur.

“The art contest brought the Toyota Traffic Tots to new heights, because it required more critical thinking, planning and artistic skills to win,” says Datuk Ismet Suki, President of UMW Toyota Motor, who firmly believes that children learn best through experiential learning. 

With the art contest, the children will be able to remember the road safety messages better, he enthused, because they had to create a complete picture out of the template provided. 

Marks were given for drawing and colouring skills, creativity and relevance to the theme of traffic safety. The picture template also held traffic safety messages for children, such as holding hands with an adult, walking against traffic and staying within the road kerb when outside.

“Important values such as traffic courtesy, defensive driving, pedestrian safety, abiding by traffic laws and others must be inculcated when children are still small when they are still open to new ideas,” says Datuk Ismet. Once the values are planted and continuously enforced, he adds, the children will be less inclined to follow peer pressure even for dangerous behaviours such as speeding or beating traffic lights.

“Traffic conditions have changed exponentially in the last few decades, and so have social behavior. Today, we are faced with new challenges such as mobile phone distraction and texting while driving or walking among digital migrants,” he says.

Toyota Traffic Tots, directed at digital natives such as 21st children who are born into the world of electrical and gadgets, is a step towards building early awareness on traffic safety. Since its inception three years ago, the initiative has reached over 10,000 children from close to 300 pre-school centres and private schools.

It is important to teach safety values during a child’s formative age when they are most receptive to learning, stresses Datuk Ismet. Recognising this, more pre-schools and schools have requested for their schools to be included into the TTT programme. 

“We will be expanding to include more pre-school operators on top of our existing partner, Smart Reader Kids, as well as more private schools,” he adds.

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