In spanish there are two terms Manejar and Conducir. This is a project that shows young people the difference between these two terms, and how they impact the mortality rate in Cali, Colombia.
In December, one classmate said "Teacher I know how to drive “manejar” my family's car", and the teacher replied: "Well now you must learn how to "conducir", that is more important". He and us were surprised and asked “Isn’t the same? This question served as a trigger for us to reflect on the meaning we give to these two words, and to inquire about these terms that make the difference in mortality rates and traffic fines.
We started our investigation and found that in Spanish there are two terms “Manejar” and “Conducir”, the first one refers to people who only know how to handle the car and the second term refers to people who know and apply traffic rules. We also understood the impact of an awareness campaign to learn how to drive. In the last two years due to these campaigns the mortality rate in the city of Cali has decreased; 2016 closed with 7,280 fatal cases and 45,230 injured while 2017 closed with 5,803 fatal cases. The rates are represented as follows: 95% are from human error, 3% from vehicle errors and 2% from road errors. Because of this, the traffic secretary issued law 0003245 where driving academies are in charge of the teaching process.
Also, we designed a survey to know how many parents and students of the school were aware of the topic (see form).Results showed that 39% of the interviewed people did not know the difference but the 61% that answered yes did not know the meaning. Finally, results showed that 93,1% did not know about the new law, the decree # 0003245, since the traffic secretary hasn’t done an informative campaign at schools and with parents. Many parents think that they don’t need to pay for the proper driving education of their children and that they can save that money and teach the kids themselves, just as they were taught in the past.
These results alarmed us and we decided to create a campaign with the title "Conduces o Manejas?" given that such a difference does not exist in English we refer in this text as "Driving, it is not just sitting behind a steering wheel" this is addressed to parents and students and focuses on the importance of learning how to drive correctly. Our campaign aimed to show the difference between these two terms, and how they impact the mortality rate in Cali, Colombia. We wanted to create consciousness among users by presenting profiles, functions and agreements in order to develop an optimum driving process.
We realized that an expert in the topic was needed for this awareness campaign, therefore we required support from ASISTEN (Asociación de instructores técnicos y normativos) to send a specialized instructor to train parents and students. ASISTEN supported the idea and they sent Mr. Hector Fabio Barona to make a day conference for parents and students of the school to explain the new changes and implications of law 0003245.
We designed adverts which we sent by email to invite parents and students from 9th and 11th grade to the event on the 19th of May in the different classrooms and auditoriums of the school.
Through this session parents and students understood better various aspects such as:
- Learn to drive in a driving academy implies more knowledge in mechanics, legal issues, traffic signs, first aids and traffic laws. This important information is not taught by a friend or a family member as they all concentrate in the operative part and not in the theory.
- Parents and students realized that they did not know a lot of information, even those who took the course in a driving academy missed important data as the new law academies have included new modules with more detailed information. Parents requested a new session with a more detailed workshop that would include new laws and first aids; this request was taken to ASISTEN to schedule more trainings.
- Many of the parents that have their driving license updated showed a deep interest to be part of the workshops to motivate their children to be more responsible when driving. They also requested an extra session for parents to increase awareness of the danger of asking their children to drive a car without a driving license.
Although we are aware that this is only a start point for future parents and children meeting projects, these activities open a door to raise consciousness among teenagers and their families. This proposal was also taken to the administration office of the school so it can be part of the “Proyecto vial” that leads the school. As a group we are all very happy for this achievement and the input to lower the mortality rate in our city, we would have loved to have the time to developed the rest of activities proposed after the conference but we hope to do it next year in CAS (Creativity, Action and Service) or any other community project. Thanks again to Renault for giving us the opportunity to accomplish this meaningful initiative.