Road safety is certainly something that should not be taken lightly, a message that Toyota Vios Challenge celebrity race drivers were more than willing to preach during their ‘Road Smart & Road Fit Tour’ talks with college students.

During the first leg of the Road Smart & Road Fit Tour, Diana Danielle, Danny Koo, Venice Min, Geraldine Gan and Shawn Lee visited KDU Penang University College to impart some critical road safety knowledge to students, such as the importance of seat belt usage, remaining fully aware and focused when behind the wheel, and avoiding distracted driving.

“Although each of us wants to win the race, we were trained to be aware of the other participants on track. How we drive and the actions we take in the race may affect or endanger the other racers. Therefore, we cannot just be selfish and merely focus on our own needs and desires, but to create a safe environment for others as well,” said Danny Koo.

“Our racing environment is made as safe as possible but when we drive on public roads, we are exposed to many more dangers. There are other road users, pedestrians, young children playing or buses stopping; there’s potential danger everywhere. We need to be aware that they all share the space around us and we must be mindful of their safety as much as our own,” added Diana Danielle.

To reduce the effects of road accidents or even avoid them entirely, carmakers have developed various safety systems like vehicle stability control, traction control, electronic brake-force distribution and strong vehicle bodies to better protect occupants. A large majority of vehicles, including those from Toyota, are equipped with said safety features today.

However, more needs to be done to reduce the number of road accident cases in Malaysia, which has not dipped despite improvements in vehicle safety and road infrastructure. It is reported that 7,152 people lost their lives on Malaysian road last year, about 19 deaths daily due to road accidents.

Therefore, the human element needs to be well educated in order to sculpt better drivers, exactly what the Road Smart & Road Fit Tour aims to accomplish. “Young drivers remain impressionable and can be inspired to become responsible and safety-conscious road users. Through these talks, we hope that they will develop a safety-first attitude every time they start the engine,” Ravindran Kurusamy, president of UMW Toyota Motor.

He added that Toyota hopes to impart the wisdom and learnings of the Vios Challenge celebrities who have a big fan following among young Malaysians. The students from KDU will also be participating in the Toyota Gazoo Racing (TGR) Racing Festival in Batu Kawan, Penang from August 12-13.

Aside from stage performances by the students, there will be a variety of other activities set to take place during the weekend. The highlight is of course the first race of the Toyota Vios Challenge race series but visitors will also get the chance to see the C-HR in the metal as well. Entrance to the event is free to all members of the public.