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Kuala Lumpur, July 27 – The General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM) will be working with popular cartoonist Reggie Lee on a two-month road safety campaign targeted at primary school children.

This campaign is organized to commemorate Insurance Day which falls on July 27.

The emphasis of the two-month campaign will be on teaching primary school children to be ‘good citizens on the road’ through a series of creative comics. The comic strips will feature a super-hero character, Wira Jalanraya (‘Wira J’) who is created specially to attract children’s attention and reinforce the important message of adhering to simple safety rules while on the road.

Commenting on the campaign, PIAM’s Chairman, Zainal Abidin Mohd Noor said, “With this campaign, we hope to put out an effective and constant reminder to young children to always be careful and take precautions for keeping themselves safe while on the road, whether they are walking, cycling or using public transport,”

“Comics are a fun and effective channel to get the road safety messages across to young children. And by using ‘Wira J’ as the face of the campaign, we hope to establish a good role model to teach young children essential road safety skills.”

This campaign has two components. The first component comprises a poster campaign for schools which will promote the importance of wearing of helmet, bike safety and the correct road crossing procedures.

These posters will serve as a useful educational tool and will be disseminated to over 1,000 schools which are implementing the Government’s pilot road safety education programme.

The second component comprises a four-part comic strip by popular cartoonist Reggie Lee which will be published in the education pullout of two major publications during the month of September. The comic strips will contain key messages on bike safety, public transport safety as well as the importance of wearing seat belt and rear seat belt.

The campaign is aimed at complementing the Government’s initiatives to promote good road safety habits among the young. “In this context, we hope the comic strips will become another resource to reinforce the road safety messages to the primary school children,” Zainal explained.

“Road safety is an issue of public concern and the impact of road accidents would affect every road user. From the general insurance industry perspective, in 2006, general insurers incurred claims amounting to RM 3,092 million for injuries and property damage due to road accidents. For the first quarter of this year alone, the claims incurred have already reached RM 811 million,” Zainal added.

Other activities that have been lined up during the two-month campaign would be a special colouring contest to be held at the New Straits Times’ kiosk located in front of Lot 10 shopping center, featuring a special appearance by Reggie Lee.

PIAM is the national trade association of all the licensed direct insurance and reinsurance companies in Malaysia conducting general insurance business.