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University student campaigning to ensure traffic rules are respected by pedestrians, motorists

By Mohammad Ghazal - Feb 19,2014 - Last updated at Feb 19,2014

AMMAN — Frustrated with behaviours of some pedestrians and motorists alike, Subhi Mohammad Subhi, a university student majoring in aviation engineering, will soon start a campaign to encourage them to better respect traffic laws.

Subhi — a second year student at the Air Service Training (AST) of Perth, Scotland who is receiving training at the AST’s partner Jordan Aircraft Maintenance Ltd. — said he had always thought of doing “something” to encourage people to respect traffic regulations.

“Pedestrians rarely use a pedestrian bridge and try to cross the street from under it,” Subhi told The Jordan Times in a recent interview.

“This is an annoying behaviour for drivers, who — if they hit someone — are always to blame, not the pedestrians who carelessly cross the street and ignore the overpass,” he added.

Subhi said he will start by distributing brochures to motorists and pedestrians highlighting the risks of not heeding traffic laws for both.

He will be able to implement the campaign after he was recently announced as one of the winners of the Youth Empowerment Windows Initiative, which is part of the Democratic Empowerment Programme “Demoqrati” launched by His Majesty King Abdullah last year. 

“I submitted my idea to the programme. They studied it, adopted it and will help me in its implementation through financial and logistic support,” Subhi said.

“It is not only pedestrians who do not respect traffic laws; many motorists sometimes do not stop when there is a speed bump to allow pedestrians to cross,” he added.

“Sometimes, drivers do not stop at zebra crossings to allow people to pass. Instead, they increase their speed, which also is annoying,” Subhi said.

The campaign, he added, is not only about distributing brochures and talking to people about the dangers of ignoring traffic laws.

It also includes posting signs near pedestrian bridges and traffic lights with slogans and pictures highlighting the risks of not abiding by traffic regulations for both motorists and pedestrians.

“Thanks to the Demoqrati programme, I will be able to help raise traffic awareness among people,” said Subhi, adding that many of his friends asked about the programme, as they have ideas to “improve the local community”.

The programme’s four youth empowerment “windows of opportunity” seek to encourage young people to join voluntary initiatives, institutionalise existing youth initiatives, support local community organisations to expand the outreach of their projects, and provide financial and technical support to larger projects to turn them into nationwide initiatives that reach the Kingdom’s governorates.

Seeking to enhance the values of democracy, enroot democratic practices in society and push the development process forward, Demoqrati is founded on development-boosting values such as the rule of the law, rejection of violence, acceptance of others, dialogue and accountability.

It seeks to engage all segments of society, especially young people, in building a conscious democratic culture, and facilitate it through democratic institutions and supportive civil society organisations, based on confidence in the country’s ability to make change and progress in its development process. 

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