Our intention was to encourage research and insights on participation of a large number of students in this project. We decided to include two students from different grades in order to engage and pay attention to their role in traffic.
In the first part, students expressed their negative and positive experiences in traffic and lack of traffic safety in the school environment.
After identifying the traffic problems in our environment, we asked: "What is the best way we can contribute to improve traffic safety?” “What should the content of the campaign be?” “How can we carry it out?”
We defined the problems and activities and decided to work with teams consisting of two students.
Defining the traffic problem:
1. The most common causes of accidents:
• Driving under the influence of alcohol.
• Using a mobile phone while driving.
• Distracting the person driving.
• Not using a pedestrian crossing to cross the road.
• Driving on tram rails.
2. Air pollution/large amounts of carbon monoxide due to the large number of cars:
• Serbian families usually have two cars.
• Absence of action on the importance of using the bicycle as means of transportation.
• Lack of bicycle lanes.
3. Safety in the school environment:
• Beside the speed bumps and the ‘Slow down by the school’ campaign, there is no significant change regarding the safety of students.
• Nobody alerts the students to their role in traffic, especially high school students.
Students explored ideas and collected visual and other information useful for this project. Then they conveyed their ideas and shaped them into drawings, posters and presentations. At joint meetings, they commented on the ideas, approaches, and analysis of the context to see if they are appropriate for the target group for which the project is designed. They expanded their ideas and corroborated their research with the support and praise for their work.
1. Interview about traffic problems and suggestions on improvements with students and parents.
2. Analysis of cycling routes in the world, their advantages and disadvantages. Selection of the best examples and collection of materials.
3. Analysis of risky behaviour in traffic and preparation of presentations.
4. The work on the drawings for the school exhibition on risky behaviour and its consequences.
5. Preparation of the posters for the exhibition.
6. Preparation of photos.
7. Preparation of drafts for infrastructure surrounding our school. Traffic in front of the school. New solution: expanding sidewalks by adding bicycle lanes and bicycle parking. We narrowed the greenbelt on the main street and placed trees in front of the school.
In recent months, we have clearly highlighted the traffic problems and the need to solve these problems. Working on this project, students showed initiative and seriousness. They decided to present the prepared material to the students of our school in order to improve existing communication and perception problems. At these presentations, they drew attention to the importance of investing in infrastructure to improve traffic safety. Some examples of traffic regulations in the school environment were presented and the students chose the best solutions according to their opinions.
Peers have a great influence on each other. A group of peers significantly affects which values, attitudes and behaviour style a young person will adopt, and it is connected with their risky behaviour.
Peer education uses that influence in a positive way and it helps students to talk about some unpleasant topics, even with their teachers. In this way, peer education presents a model for peers.
Risky behaviour and consequences were pointed out. They also presented the positive effects of cycling, based on the analysis of an example from Amsterdam called ‘City on two wheels’.
Schedule of events:
1. The presentation of prepared material to students.
2. Organisation of an exhibition in the school.
3. Preparation of scenarios for filming.
4. Video shooting.
Five-minute film montage.
Videos will be posted on our school website and could be seen after the workshop. We will contact media such as newspapers and television, in order to show what our students are thinking and doing.
We handed over the improvement of the infrastructure around the school as a preliminary solution for all schools to the school principal, who will pass it on to the authorities. Therefore, we hope that we would encourage thinking and action on the implementation of such projects.