City Jam: Road safety for a new generation
Youth TV channel Jim hopes its new tablet-based game can have an impact on road safety among its young viewers
Learning made fun
City Jam is a location-based game using tablet computers with music as the central theme. Participants play members of a band who make it to the top by completing tasks related to road safety in Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent, Hasselt or Leuven.
Jim VJ Sean Dhondt takes on the role of music manager in the game, guiding the band to popularity and success. “With City Jam, we’re demonstrating the importance of road safety to young people, but in a very entertaining way,” he says. “We don’t want to come across as pedantic, but the message has to be clear: Road safety is very important, and they are the new road users.”
Fellow VJ Erika Van Tielen plays a police officer. She keeps an eye on the players as road users and helps them make better choices. “I think City Jam is the ideal way to reach young people,” she says. “It’s a fun game, but it also makes them alert about the dangers of traffic.”
The game’s target audience is students between 15 and 18, who can play with classmates in teams of two to four.
City Jam is the ideal way to reach young people
Official figures from 2012 show that teenagers and young adults are vulnerable road users. For example, 16- to 24-year-olds make up 11% of the Belgian population but represent 24% of injuries and 19% of fatalities caused by traffic accidents. Traffic is also the leading cause of death among youth aged 15 to 24.
Flemish mobility minister Hilde Crevits backs the campaign, which was created with iMinds, the Flemish independent research institute that stimulates ICT innovation.
“Safer traffic is one of the priorities of Flemish mobility policy,” Crevits says. “Education and awareness are essential for a successful road safety policy. Young people in secondary education are our priority group. What better way to get their attention than with a sharp-looking game? Young people learn how to behave in certain traffic situations while having fun.”
Traffic in Flanders
largest area covered in traffic ever recorded in Belgium in kilometres
time Antwerp drivers spend in gridlock per year in hours
traffic diversions in Flanders per year