MANILA, Philippines - International film star and Bond girl Michelle Yeoh rode the "ikot" e-jeep last Wednesday at the University of the Philippines in Diliman in a campaign to promote road safety.
The actress was in the country recently as Global Ambassador for the Make Roads Safe campaign, a global coalition coordinated and funded by the FIA Foundation for the Automobile and Society.
|Michelle Yeoh rides the UP 'ikot' e-jeep to tour the campus with UP National Center for Transportation Studies director Jose Regin Regidor. Credit: Misael A. Bacani
The "ikot" jeep refers to the jeepney that goes around the UP Diliman campus. "Ikot" in Filipino means to go around. The jeeps that ply the reverse route are called "toki" jeeps, a play on the word "ikot" spelled backwards.
The "ikot" e-jeep that Yeoh rode is a project of the UP-National Center for Transportation Studies (UP-NCTS). It is the environment-friendly version of the iconic "ikot" jeep which has been serving the UP Diliman community since the 1970s.
Yeoh went to the state university to attend the ceremonial launch of the campus as a future Road Safety Park.
|The UP 'ikot' jeep is a project of the UP-National Center for Transportation Studies. Credit: Misael A. Bacani
UP, through the UP-NCTS, has partnered with the Automobile Association of the Philippines and Toyota Motor Philippines to work on the UP Diliman Model Road Traffic Safety Zone project.
The project, began in 2008, includes the installation of road signs that adhere to international standards, the training of traffic enforcers about road safety rules and regulations, the implementation of the one-way traffic scheme along the university’s Academic Oval, and the provision of a separate lane for non-motorized vehicles and pedestrians.
All of these were executed as part of the project's first phase, with the support of the university's Office of the Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs. The project is currently in its second phase.
The years 2011-2020 has been declared by the United Nations as the Decade of Action for Road Safety. The UN is a member of the Make Roads Safe campaign.