Student Safe Driving Team at The American University in Cairo (AUC) has launched, in cooperation with Schlumberger, a Safe Driving Campaign this week. The campaign involves holding awareness sessions, distributing informative handouts on accident prevention and hosting guest speakers to address various topics related to road safety, including Egypt’s new traffic laws.
Among the highlights of the campaign is a collision machine, provided by Schlumberger that gives students the opportunity to experience a car-crash simulation to deter them from fast driving. On the last day of the campaign, a plaque will be placed on a Fan Palm Tree that will be dedicated to the memory of AUCians who passed away in car accidents. The campaign also includes two lectures about safe driving tips, in addition to a student panel, to discuss road safety issues in Egypt. During this interactive session, students will share their experiences with car accidents.
“Having students share their stories about road accidents they had or were about to have is an effective way to promote road safety,” said Mostafa Khaled, a business sophomore and one of the event organizers.
Mahmoud Abdel-Razek, a biology senior and one of the students involved in the campaign, added, “Many people fall victim to car accidents not because they are careless, but because they really don’t know what safe driving is about. Most of us underestimate car accidents and think that we can handle them.”
“We, as students, are conducting the public relations aspect of the campaign by spreading the word and interacting with other students through our booth,” said Abdel-Razek. “It is our duty toward the community." Adjacent to the Safe Driving Campaign booth is a public safety booth, where staff members from the Office of Medical Services are available to check people’s blood pressure and eyesight.
Several AUC students were killed in car accidents during the past few years including Ammar Tareq, a journalism and mass communication student who died in a car accident on Road 90 in October 2010.
An initiative similar to the Safe Driving Campaign was held by AUC in 2007, when Yomna Safwat ’10, business administration graduate, established The Right Road student club to promote and spread awareness about safe driving in Egypt. After losing her brother to a car accident in 2006, Safwat felt inspired to do something about road safety. “I believe car accidents are a preventable danger,” said Safwat, who is the first recipient of the Moataz Al Alfi Award for Excellence in Civic Engagement and Philanthropy. She received the award in 2008 for establishing the club, which worked in collaboration with the World Health Organization to promote road safety among Egyptian youth.