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ORSA launches short films on road safety awareness [Week, The (Oman)]
[February 09, 2014]

ORSA launches short films on road safety awareness [Week, The (Oman)]

(Week, The (Oman) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Five animated films on road safety were launched by Oman Road Safety Association (ORSA) and Shell Oman Marketing last week in an awareness campaign targeting issues plaguing roads in Oman. The launch was held at the ORSA in Azaiba in the presence of board members of the association and Shell Oman Marketing officials.

The minute long films cover the significance of wearing seatbelts, speed management, using child restraints, fatigue and safety tips for children while on the road. The films were developed by a local company called Klmaten Ras as part of ORSA's 'Safer Kids... Safer Oman' campaign. The films target people in the 18 to 38 years age bracket, and will be screened in cinemas, on TV and marketed through social media.

While the films are in Arabic, ORSA plans on releasing translated editions in English in the future, according to Shaima Murtadha al Lawati, chief executive officer of ORSA. "We took a different approach. We tried to show the advantages and risks of any action a driver or a passenger takes. This will ensure effective communication through the visuals," she said. Each short film includes a short message in the end to reiterate the point made.

According to Shaima, the motivation behind these short films is in that passengers or drivers may know the rules to follow to stay safe, but not the risks involved with not following them. "They may know they need to wear a seatbelt, but they may not necessarily know what happens when they don't wear a seatbelt," she said. "They don't take it seriously, and that's why they are not reacting or not practicing what they know." Negligence of road safety cannot be blamed on drivers and passengers only but on pedestrians too, and these short films target this aspect of road safety too.

Dr Wahid Ali al Kharusi, chairman of ORSA, explained that the main objective behind these films is to reduce road traffic accidents and casualties. "We started to feel that if we don't put a stop to it soon, half of the population in Oman will have a disability of some sort due to road traffic accidents." He pointed out that people drive too recklessly, switch lanes too quickly and speed without respecting others on the road. "People need to understand that the roads aren't for themselves alone and that there are others using the roads as well." Along with the films, posters for the campaign which reflect similar messages as the films will be distributed across schools, clinics, universities and ministerial buildings. "Youth are a very essential target group in road safety and approaching them with the right message and channel is very critical," said Dr Wahid.

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