Teens from Romania’s National College of Informatics Traian Lalescu are taking road safety into their own hands and taking their fellow students out on to the street to learn about it.
26 tenth grade students worked together to analyse road safety in their community, starting in a familiar place - their own school. They found that, even in this environment, there was a serious lack of knowledge and respect for the rules of the road by both drivers and pedestrians. In both cases, the students believed that the problem was a lack of information and education. An additional problem was a lack of zebra crossings around the school, making the simple act of crossing the street into a dangerous risk.
The students decided to focus most of all on the educative side of their research, and began to plan this part of the initiative. Again they chose to start in their very own school, especially recognizing the need to protect the little ones but making sure to include all ages.
They decided that they would need to create very different lesson for the different age groups. The lessons for very young children would have to be extra-entertaining, while the lessons for older students like themselves could explore the different road safety issues in greater depth.
With this plan in place the students began to carry out their initiative, determined to show that with enough road safety education – and enough zebra crossings – we can cut down on traffic accidents!
The students took their initiative very seriously and designed the lessons with a great deal of care. They made sure that the content prepared each group was appropriate for their age, and that the lesson would be delivered in an appropriate way. This kind of thoughtfully designed teaching would help each student to get the most from the lesson.
The very young students would learn about basic rules in a funny way, with lots of games and cartoons. The older students reflected on the real meaning of risk, why a person might take risks, and the potential consequences for themselves and others. Altogether, they created lessons for eight different groups. For example, they helped six year olds to learn how to cross the street safely, drew traffic signs with kindergarten students, and took high school students on a tour of the town to point out different locations that are especially safe or high-risk. The lessons were very diverse, but all of them were much enjoyed and appreciated.
They were busy enough with the lessons, but the students still communicated with local authorities to have to zebra crossings created outside of their school. The local police chief came to the school to talk to all of the students about traffic rules and keeping safe as pedestrians. The local media came, too!
In fact, the media has taken a great interest in the students’ initiative in general. The teens have agreed to write about their activities for local newspapers and will also appear on local TV channels to share their road safety messages. The messages urge people to be careful on the roads, to think about the possible consequences of risks and then choose not to take them, and to talk to their friends and family members about road safety and how important it is.
The campaign has been a great success, with the media, teachers and students, local authorities and the entire community standing behind it. Most importantly, they are taking the messages to heart.