We, as a team, decided to focus the project on our school and its surroundings, having as main topic the wrong use of the bicycle.
Firstly, we had to think about a concern that involved us on a daily basis in relation with road safety, and the first idea that came to our minds was the conflictive coexistence between usual cyclists, pedestrians and car drivers. Every person from these groups attends our school or goes by its surroundings, as every morning we see difficulties in the street about the circulation of cars due to the amount of them that come to our centre. In that case it is solved thanks to the traffic police officers, but the pedestrians and cyclists are left apart. As well, the people that use their bike do not use it the way they should, leaving behind accessories that are necessary such as the helmet (if they are below 16 years old they are obliged to carry it), the red retroreflector, white light in the front of the bike, the bike bell and a red light on the back of the seat. To add, the behaviour of more or less a fifth of the riders tends to be rude, annoying the passers-by. That is why we had to prove that this conflictive coexistence was a fact, so we developed a series of surveys (4 different ones) to car drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and traffic police officers. In total we did 35 surveys for each group, coming up with the conclusion that there really exists a conflict between the people that make an incorrect use of the bike and the rest of citizens. This is when we went back to our initial idea, but this time with data to prove that the problem really exists.
To begin, we started to create the website, in which we have included a brief description of who we are, of what does the contest consists of and what we have done to take part in it.
Our project consists of three phases, which are described in the website: first come the surveys to different groups (the ideas), then the actions that we’ve taken (the initiatives) and finally the impact that our project has reached. Apart from that, we also added a forum to the website so everyone that enters could ask or get their doubts resolved.
The measurements that we’ve taken are manly three:
- Firstly, we gave a speech about our project (to reach people’s support) and about the correct use of the bicycle with the aim of raising students' awareness. After finishing, we asked the students to fill in some small surveys that would serve us as feedback. Thanks to them, we were able to give a better account of the mistakes that the students made more frequently, to know if the talk was useful and we also asked them for some small tips that would help us improve. And so they have done. These answers were collected on the website. Overall we gave this speech to a total of 300 students from ESO.
-To get closer to younger users, we also decided to make small reinterpretations of the most popular stories (Little Red Riding Hood or The Hare and The Turtle) in which the moral always had something to do with road safety and the use of the bike.
- As part of another of our actions, we gave an alarm signal to the municipality of Pamplona since we counted the presence of a bike lane whose existence was real on the website of the General Directorate of Traffic, but that did not exist in reality. Therefore, we are currently waiting for an answer from them.
For the third phase of our project (the conclusion), we decided to make a brief summary unifying all the answers obtained so far and the impact of our project on the environment of our school. After having finished, we spent a lot of time figuring out what the results have been and what we have managed to do thanks to this project. First of all, we have seen the students much more aware and interested in the subject (the blog had a quite good welcome and till now it has more than 60 visits). We could also appreciate how pupils are taking a little more care with how they ride a bike after having shown them all the risks of misusing this mean of transport. But what pleases us the most is to have been able to raise awareness among all on the regulations. So as they go cycling, they will realize what is good and what is wrong. That’s the way we improve society, even if it is a little bit.
Last but not least, we would like to personally thank and show our gratitude to Arantxa Hernández (our coach, and the one who introduced us into this experience) and Sandra Macedo, our "driver" and the person who has constantly helped and supported us throughout all this project.
Before leaving, we would like to thank Renault for having given us the chance, not only to create an interesting and practical project about road safety, but also for having allowed us to establish a strong relationship through this work. It has definitely been an incredible experience that we will always remember. Thank you!