AUC Participates to Help Keep Drivers Safe

PHOTO BY LAURA GUINDY

BY NADA YASSER

The American University in Cairo (AUC) hosted a “Drive Safe Campaign” on March 7 in the plaza, to discuss the measures to be taken in order to stay safe behind the wheel.

Students as well as faculty members gathered to listen to the two guest speakers.

On a yearly basis, members of the AUC community have fallen victims to car accidents, sometimes even leaving them dead. Many of these accidents could have been prevented through simple security measures such as fastening the seat belt.

“The first thing you should do is check the car before you get in, check the tires, check the mirrors,” said Commander Aly Assef, a police official and one of the guest speakers. “The seat belt is the primary procedure you have to take…it’s meant to protect you, not to protect anyone else,” continues Assef.

Assef spoke about ways to help raise the future generations to drive safely, noting that awareness is key. He highlighted the issue of behavior, pointing out that driving safely should be taught to children.

“We will address this problem in a direct way and an indirect way. The direct way is through teaching children, and the indirect way is through embarrassing you through your children telling you its wrong…It’s all about correcting behavior,” he said. “If the students need a lecture every month, I am willing to come every month if that is all it takes to get the message through,” stated Assef.

The key to safe driving, according to Schlumberger representative Mohamed Fata, is attitude. He told The Independent that “attitude and driving is everything…the attitude is all about I don’t want to have a crash, I don’t want to cause a crash, and I don’t want to be a victim.”

“It’s not just about laws; attitude is what’s going to make sure the law is implemented. I believe AUC can lead by example and the more AUC can do about this, the more it can ensure that drivers, students, and everyone else is safe because you may never know, one of these AUC students might become the next president,” stated Fata.

Dr. Mohamed Dabbour, associate dean of student development, told the Independent that “our main motive is to start an awareness effort… to help students stay safe on the road… Almost three students die every year on the road. I think the low turnout is fine, it is what we expected,” commented Dabbour.

One day earlier, students rode The Convincer, a machine loaned to the campaign by Schlumberger, a sponsor of the event, to simulate what a collision would feel like in the event of a car accident.

“Nothing should be imposed. I think it’s an attitude change, and it’s a change in culture and mindset…It’s a matter of people being convinced that it is good for them to go back home in one piece,” continued Dabbour.

“It should not be just [for] students, the faculty, the staff and the bus driver. We only become aware of it after we lose someone, and then we start to say we haven’t been doing much. Well, there has to be a starting point…The life of [an] AUC student is very dear to us,” said Dabbour.