Japanese school children are one of the most independent, often seen travelling alone to and from school. Although Japan is safe enough for them to roam freely, road safety is still a big concern for parents. Unlike Singapore whose streets are well-lit, Japan’s roads can be awfully dark when the sun sets, especially in rural areas. So, in an initiative by Honda Motor Company, a designer by the name of Rei Hanada came up with an innovative idea: a policeman tote bag.
「運転手が1番ビビるのは警官・パトカーやろ」つってホンダが作った子供用トートかわいい。「肩にかけるおまわりさん」というコンセプトもかわいい。— Rei Hanada｜広告プランナー&ドローンフォトグラファー (@0hana613) November 3, 2019
Simply put, it is a tote bag which is designed to look like the reflective vest of Japanese traffic police. Even under low light conditions, drivers will still be able to spot these children crossing the road.
According to Japan’s Institute for Traffic Accident Research and Data Analysis, the age at which people experience the most number of accidents while walking is seven years old (elementary school children). Honda hopes to focus not only on manufacturing cars, but also do their part in ensuring road safety, hence this “protection tote bag”.
As for the inspiration behind the design, Hanada said the thing drivers fear the most is the traffic police. He also found the concept of being able to “put a traffic police on the shoulder” very cute. His tweet has since garnered more than 50,000 likes with netizens singing praises of his idea. Some also said that even adults can use the policeman tote bag.
What’s even better is you can make your very own policeman tote bag in just five minutes! You can also kill two birds with one stone when you turn this DIY session into a parent-child bonding session.
To make this tote bag, prepare a tote bag, a white reflector tape, a red reflector tape and a sewing kit. First, cut the reflector tapes (three strips of white and one strip of red) according to the size of your tote bag. Second, sew on two strips of white reflector tape to form a “V” on the tote bag. Third, sew on the last strip of white reflector tape across the tote bag. Last but not least, sew the red reflector tape on top of the white reflector tapes and you’re done! If you are not good at sewing, you can also use fabric glue or fabric double-sided tape.
Even if Singapore may not have use for this policeman tote bag, it is still a fun activity to try with your little ones! What do you think?