Our main objective was to increase road safety through an awareness-raising campaign and to propose a new bike track to the City Council
We started by having a number of brainstorming sessions in which we argued the problems they feel most strongly about. The most obvious problem we have identified is a very low level of traffic culture in our town, leading to sub-optimal traffic safety.
We believe that the main causes of this are:
a) insufficient awareness within the community with respect to traffic safety resulting in disobeying rules and reckless driving, as well as the high average age of cars in the County resulting in mechanical unreliability;
b) great number of cyclists who occupy the roads, thus slowing down the traffic flow considerably.
During further research, we have discovered a number of alarming facts, the most alarming being the number of traffic-related deaths in Croatia (60 per cent higher than the EU average). Another alarming fact is that traffic accidents involving cyclists have not decreased significantly in the last ten years.
We have then conducted a survey inquiring into bike use within the community, as well as the perceived levels of traffic safety. 62 people of all ages have taken the survey, and two major issues have been highlighted: only 16% of people feel safe while riding a bike, and as many as 76% of the people would use their bicycle more if there were more tracks.
Finally, we considered what would be the best way to increase the safety of both cyclists and drivers.
Our team has concluded that our action should be two-fold: awareness-raising campaign aimed towards increasing traffic safety and promoting eco-friendly means of transport, as well as the suggestion of implementing more bike tracks to the City Council.
As an awareness-raising activity we have opted for the bulletin board, which was displayed in the school hall during annual Open Days, held on 10 May 2019. Open Days is a traditional manifestation advertising our school’s projects to other primary schools and general population of the Đakovo area. Target groups include primary and secondary school students, teachers, parents, and general Đakovo population.
Due to a large number of people attending, we thought Open Days would be an ideal opportunity to introduce our initiative to as many people as possible.
Bulletin board is divided into two sections: Traffic Safety and Eco-Friendly Transport. The idea is to tell the story of how dire the traffic safety situation in the County really is, but that it can be improved significantly with some effort.
Also, traffic safety would be increased if more eco-friendly alternatives were used (bikes, trains, e-vehicles, etc)
Two sections of the bulletin board are connected with a stylised bicycle track in the middle, which we made ourselves using colour paper. The track connecting two sections of the billboard stresses the importance of the bicycle track as the ideal solution both for increased traffic safety (safer cycling, less congestion) and increased usage of the bicycle as an eco-friendly means of transport.
We have also met with the City Council who showed us their support for the cause and promised that more bike tracks are planned in the near future.
Our initiative will hopefully be a good start toward developing better understanding of sustainable development of urban traffic strategies, leading to safer traffic and, consequently, safer environment for all the people in our community