After attending a talk on road safety, a group of secondary school students from Cork was driven to pass their newfound knowledge on to younger pupils.
However, the challenge was to make road safety relevant to children.
So the teenagers, from Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh in Bishopstown, Cork, created Captain Traffic, a comic hero, to get the message across.
“We’re hoping it makes a difference in how young people think about road safety because it makes it more fun than reading it or seeing it on the TV.
“It engages them more, they understand it more”, said Liam Coughlan, one of the students behind the idea.
“Things as simple as not wearing a seat belt have caused the most serious of accidents on the road.
“Last year alone the figure was 42% of people involved in a serious accident were not wearing their seat belts.
“We saw this figure as frightening and we decided to do something about it,” said Liam.
The comic book, which is sponsored by the Irish Examiner, Collins Print and Hebre Packaging, features the work of talented teenage artist Cillian Mitchell, also a student at Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh.
It follows the adventures of Captain Traffic; a caped, sunglasses-wearing, six-pack-endowed Road Safety Hero, as he shows us how to cross the street, wear our seatbelts, and cycle on the road properly.
“We’ve started distributing it already to primary schools.
“They really like it, we’ve got some great feedback from it. We’re also giving presentations about road safety,” said Liam.
Eleven secondary school students worked on the project overall, which forms part of a module that teaches transition year students how to set up their own mini company.
Their teacher, Mr Malone, praised the efforts of those involved.
“Their brainstorming developed the idea of road safety for kids in national schools and their market research demonstrated an urgency in this area due to speeding on the roads, accidents and fatalities,” he said.
“They have won a lot of praise and they continue to put more work into enhancing the comic’s content with various challenges and games for kids.
“Here in Spiorad Naomh we are very proud of the lads and it demonstrates the importance of creativity and innovation in Enterprise Studies which is an integral part of the transition year,” he said.
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