Students for Road Safety

LAU student clubs team up with Kunhadi and Joe Maalouf to help minimize road accidents.

By Raissa Batakji

Students from the Lebanese Red Cross Club quizzed their peers on road signs.
President of Kunhadi, Fady Gebran, gave an informative lecture on road safety measures.
Joe Maalouf (C) with students from the Lebanese Red Cross and Safety Awareness Clubs.

Less than one month into the new year, 28 people have died on Lebanese roads as a result of accidents.

That, along with other staggering figures called on students from the Lebanese Red Cross and Safety Awareness Clubs to organize a full-day event, Youth for Road Safety, on Beirut campus. The event featured lectures by TV show host and blogger Joe Maalouf as well as Fady Gebran, president of a leading road safety NGO Kunhadi.

The lobby area around Adnan Kassar School of Business teemed with student volunteers who had prepared interactive games that invited the LAU community to test their knowledge of road signs, speed limits and drunk driving, among others.

The lecture by Gebran was loaded with eye-opening information, from practical advice specific to Lebanese roads, to quizzes on texting and driving, seatbelt use, as well as common safety hazards.

Maalouf then took to the podium to share a personal experience of a road accident he had had when he was 18. “If it weren’t for mere luck, I would not have been standing here today,” he revealed to a packed lecture hall.

Referencing a previous episode of his show, he gave an anecdote of a 15-year-old boy who was killed while driving his parents’ car. “Unfortunately, there is nothing in Lebanese law that incriminates parents who allow their children to drive before reaching the legal age,” he explained, arguing that this should give everyone, especially the youth, more reason to “change our very mindset about road safety.”

Maalouf also urged students to do their part in learning from and sharing other people’s experiences. “You should not be waiting for accidents to happen closer to home for you to learn from them because one of these days, it might be too late.” 

By the end of the day, a large mural was filled with inspiring messages written by students on road safety.