CELA centre for studies (Mexico) carried out a series of activities that aimed to raise awareness among students about risky behaviour when driving a vehicle.
To implement the project, a series of activities highlighting the inclusion of the Human Development program and the formation of values of the student body in the context of ‘Traffic Safety’ were completed. An investigation was made by the school administrative team that resulted in data that reflects the current situation in Mexico, and particularly the state of Yucatán, in regards to traffic accidents. An interactive conference was then held at the school in order to present the students with this information.
The statistics on automobile accidents, the importance of traffic safety, and the consequences of high-risk behaviour were presented to the students in a conference by psychologist Marissa Valle Graniel and school principal Lisly Córdova Quintal in the month of February 2014, with the participation of 70 first-year high school students. Among the statistics presented were:
• In México every year, an average of 16,500 Mexicans die due to motor vehicle accidents
• Vehicular accidents are the leading cause of death in children 5–14 years old, and the second cause of death in young adults 15–29 years old
• In the state of Yucatán vehicular accidents were the cause of many deaths in the state; the eighth cause of death in children under 5 and the second cause of death in children ages 5–9 and 10–14.
Source: Third Report on Traffic Safety, Mexico 2013.
To complete the conference, the students were shown videos on safety tests conducted on modern automobiles. This led to a general reflection on key points related to traffic safety.
During the conference students shared personal experiences they had regarding traffic accidents, responsible behaviour, and high risk behaviour they have been involved in, or observed in family members. This led to a brainstorming activity in which the most common problems and needs in our community were identified, among the ideas generated by the students were:
• Implement educational campaigns on traffic safety in pre-school and primary school
• Implement student awareness campaigns on the topic of high-risk behaviour while driving
• Improve transit conditions
• Make improvements in the process of obtaining a driver’s license in México
• Make changes to current transit laws.
Based on the students’ ideas, an awareness campaign was held where the students linked the subjects of ‘Reading and Composition’ and ‘Computer Science’ to the topic of high-risk behaviour while driving through the following activities:
• Academic essay. On the subject of ‘Reading and Composition’, the students wrote essays on the topic of traffic safety
• Posters. The students produced posters, with the aid of the ‘Computer Science’ subject, where, through the use of images and text, they presented a message on avoiding high-risk behaviour while driving, and promoted responsible behaviour leading to higher levels of traffic safety
• Diffusion. The students participated in an exhibition during the annual English Fest cultural week, where their proposals on traffic safety were presented to parents and guests. In addition, the proposals were presented to the 14 schools that participated in the 9th Annual Spelling Bee competition organised by CELA high school.
The project ended with essays including personal reflections on the knowledge acquired from participation in the project.