Making lasting changes in road safety will mean bringing road safety culture into our everyday life and integrating it with children's education. This was the aim of the students and teachers at Horvati Primary School.
How can we come up with ideas to improve road safety? The process began with a debate in the classroom, in addition to an anonymous questionnaire circulated by students to their peers. They also organized a meeting with the legal police in order to obtain legal information and statistics.
This process enabled the students to make general observations about people’s behavior, a major factor that affects our safety on the roads. They concluded that it is possible to change one’s own behavior and influence the behavior of one’s friends, family and neighbors and remind them that ignorance and time constraints are no an excuse for irresponsible behavior.
The students also decided that preventive actions should be taken in order to promote a road safety culture among all generations, and that responsible behaviors should be encouraged and rewarded.
The students identified specific problems, such as the dangers of using cell phones when driving and enhanced risk when a group of people walk or congregate too close to the road. They also highlighted local issues, such as people parking their car on the pedestrian area and zebra crossings near the school. The new entrance to the school is much safer than the old one but many people have not gotten into the habit of using it.
The students decided to raise awareness of the importance of responsible behavior on the roads through a variety of material: digital educational content, computer games, quizzes, cartoons, posters, flyers, research on our behavior in traffic, a competition for the best student photo, etc. They spoke to everyone they knew, including friends, family, and neighbors.
They also told parents to bring their children to school through the new entrance, which is much safer. They informed the local community that parking in front of the old entrance to the school and on the pedestrian path is forbidden. The students also addressed local politicians and other key figures and urged them to help ensure a safer arrival to school.
The students’ activities were explained during the parent-teacher meetings and the information was disseminated via school websites and other educational portals, as well as in newspapers, on television, on radio and also on posters that they placed around town.