Our project deals with pedestrian and drivers’ behavior in traffic and their interaction. We aim to identify harmful pedestrian behaviors and to point out their risks and potential consequences. We will also focus on drivers’ perception and reaction to pedestrian behavior in general.
The starting idea for this project was to find a way to increase the safety of young people in traffic in our community by focusing on them as the key factors for their own safety. Through various discussions we’ve had there was a common impression that young people are either not very familiar with traffic rules and regulations or they are not aware of the consequences of avoiding these rules. We first wanted to find out in what ways young people mostly engage in traffic (as pedestrians, drivers) and how they behave. We conducted a survey on a group of students age 11-16 and the data showed that 83% of them are pedestrians. The next step was to identify and document risky behaviors of young people as pedestrians in traffic. Our students took photos of pedestrians engaging in risky behaviors and the drivers’ reactions to such behaviors.
Our idea was to document risky behaviors and present them to pupils of various ages (elementary and high schools) in order to raise their awareness about their own risky behaviors and mistakes they make in traffic and help them find ways of preventing such mistakes. Another part of our vision refers to the drivers' responsibilities in traffic and their behavior towards pedestrians. We identified and documented risky behaviors of both pedestrians and drivers (crossing the street outside the marked spaces, when using phone while crossing the street/driving, not stopping at pedestrian crossing, driving fast in school area and similar) and showed these documented examples through presentation in various schools
We wanted to show common mistakes we all make in traffic every day and to warn about the potential consequences they might bring. By demonstrating risky behaviors and the consequences in everyday situations we wished to raise awareness of young people about the importance of following traffic rules and regulations and monitoring our own behavior in traffic. We wanted to point out that every pedestrian is responsible for his/her own safety and can protect his/her life simply by being responsible in traffic. Also, we wanted to draw drivers' attention on the need to be aware and responsible in traffic and follow rules because their behavior might save someone's life.
We presented photos of most common risky behaviors in a form of illustrations (comic book, posters, PPT presentation) to our target group. During the course of the last 2 months we managed to visit 5 elementary schools where the students involved in this campaign held a presentation to the younger pupils. We reached about 150 pupils from elementary schools. They were very interested to engage in discussions about traffic safety, to share their own examples and situations they had and to ask questions to our students. They enjoyed our presentation and liked the comic the students created.
We designed T-shirts with a message "30 or 60 km/h - it's not the same; every child matters" (in Serbian it rhymes). The point of the T-shirt is to draw drivers' attention in the school area since all graduate students of our school will be wearing these shirts till the end of the school year (this shirt can be seen on most of the uploaded pictures). Students created a short video to present the campaign message - "How many likes did you get today?" focusing on the positive drivers' behavior towards pedestrians which we showed to the pupils as a part of our presentation. Our students also shared this video on social media to reach greater impact.
We believe that our campaign will have impact on children who saw the presentation to engage in positive traffic behavior especially in school vicinity and to share their example with their peers. We also believe that using social media to share the video and the message of our campaign will make drivers think about their own behavior in traffic and how it may affect the safety of pedestrians.