Fifteen enthusiastic students worked to identify the issues of road safety and sustainable development in our community and provoke change in our district in order to reduce road accidents. We involved other institutions to support our mission.
We, the students of Nesho Bonchev High School organized a meeting together with the Deputy Manager of Pazardzhik District, who is also responsible for safety on the roads. We got together in order to identify and discuss issues in our community; we presented the “black chronicles” (statstics on serious accidents that unfortunately end in fatality) and we got some new ideas specifically for our town and our school in order to achieve sustainable development. We organized two meetings. The first meeting was at our school; the second one was in Pazardzhik district together with the Control Auto Transport Manager, NGOs, an expert from the Regional Inspectorate of Education and other representatives from institutions responsible for road safety. The second meeting was attended by 3 representatives from our group.
First, we analyzed victim and mobility issue statistics: there were 979 road accidents, 660 victims and 8,193 injured per year, only in our district. Then we discussed exactly where the hot spots with lots of accidents were and the reasons for those accidents. Finally, we came up with the idea to take action and do our best to reduce road accidents, especially in the area where we live and study, around Nesho Bonchev High School. Thanks to the support of the deputy manager, we got the permission to take action and implement our projects.
1. October 2015
- Discussions about some common traffic problems at the end of the summer holiday.
- A banner in front of the school, "Your Children Cross Here" (you can see the school’s logo and the Your Ideas Your Initiatives logo printed on it). It was produced and hung beside the road to remind drivers about the children who are crossing there – it made them act more sensibly when travelling in that area.
- Creation of two teams of activators, working like catalysts in order to activate and motivate many more students and teachers from our school to be involved in our further activities and support us. The first team organized competitions, distributed stickers, made media announcements and Facebook page ‘Save Yourself, Save the Others’. The second team developed the banner, a model and two games.
2. November 2015
- Leaflets and stickers. Stickers were distributed among younger children who stuck them on cars in the parking lot. We understood that we have to keep safety in mind and people need to be frequently reminded about their behavior and the problem.
- Bicycle competition in the park. It was organized in order to make children become familiar with following the rules of the road.
3. February 2016
- The first solar light-diodes traffic signs in Panagyurishte were installed in front of "Nesho Bonchev" High School. We are grateful to the deputy district manager who gave us the permission to install the traffic signs.
4. March 2016
- A model-policewoman - to draw drivers’ attention – saying, ‘Slow down – be alert!’ Many more citizens are now becoming familiar with road issues and road traffic accidents.
- A competition between schools “The child on the road” – a quiz to check students’ knowledge of how to safely walk, ride and drive.
5. April 2016
- Website: http://bd.alle.bg/
- Facebook group: Save Yourself, Save the Others
- Safety Road LearningApps - designed by Antoniya and Stanislav
Note: During the school year, in the last five minutes of the day there are lessons on road safety. These lessons are really important for both teachers and students; at the end of the last lesson, teachers remind their students about the hazards of taking risks on the road. The topic reminder is different every day.
In conclusion, after implementing our ideas into practice, we received feedback in the media about its positive impact, especially about the traffic signs, the banner and the model-guard. Our community became familiar with our initiatives thanks to the comments in the local media, rubrics in our newspaper, and our Facebook group. They showed the impact which our activities promoted and further transmitted our message. We do believe that Actions speak louder than Words!