From our observations during the arrival and departure periods of students at the school, we noticed that many of them who came by bicycle were without safety equipment. This scenario was the motivator for us to develop virtual awareness material so that they start to practice safe attitudes in traffic.
We started working from observations at Sesi Pinhais High School - Paraná. We noticed that the majority of student bicycle users were not wearing any safety equipment. Considering this is a dangerous behavior for them and for people around them. It is also important to highlight that in front of our school is a busy place with several cars at the entry and exit time. Based on researches, we observed that the state of Paraná has 2,618 deaths of cyclists between the years 2001 to 2017 (Source: Mortality Information System (SIM), from the Ministry of Health - Report in Bem Paraná, in July 2019). After two years of these results, the perspective remains, as it is possible to read on the article entitled "Danger on two wheels: Paraná traffic is one of the most killers of cyclists in Brazil" published in July 2019. (Cabezanews, 2019).
There are the responsibilities of state and city managers who, through public policies, must delimit, manage and maintain cycle paths, carry out surveillance and fines for bad drivers as well as encourage educational campaigns or distribute safety material for cyclists. However, it is also necessary to educate people who use bikes as a means of transport, whether for work/school or leisure/sport.
The main goal was to verify if the population using bicycles at SESI High School uses safety equipment. For this research we used the Microsoft Forms application preparing a questionnaire with the following questions:
- Do you use a bike as a mean of transportation?
2. When you ride a bike, do you wear any safety equipment? (and we provided a list: helmet, gloves, knee and elbo, goggles, rear-vision-mirror, hooter, headlights, reflective clothes and people could mark those they used)
Among the 98 students who answered the questionnaire, 38 use bicycles as a means of transportation. When the responses about the safety equipment were analyzed, the results have shown that the use of gloves was in first place, the second one was the use of headlights, the third one was the use of helmets, the fourth one was the use of goggles and the fifth one was the use of reflective clothes. Through this application, it was possible to verify that the use of safety equipment is really neglected.
Our initiative was an raising awareness action based on the results of our research. The aim was reaching all students, those who are used to ride a bicycle and those who aren’t. Our actions took place using virtual environment because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
We created a presentation in Microsoft Sway application in which we highlighted reports and other information about the dangers of traffic for cyclists and we explained all safety equipments that should be properly used: helmet, gloves, knee and elbow pads, goggles, rear-vision-mirrors, hooter, headlights, clothing and reflective vests. We sent this link to all students of Sesi Pinhais High School - Paraná.
Thus, we hope the campaign positively affects students’ lives, making them understand our objective and our initiative, which was to encourage them to take responsibility for their own safety, especially if they use bikes to get around. Also we’d like to awaken in the students the view that when they ride a bike without protection they are more vulnerable to accidents and serious injuries.