Safety is a trend, a fashion that never fades and it will never get lost into eternity. Together we can discover the beauty of a secure environment. A responsible behaviour is the heart of education. Therefore, in our youthful spirit, we think this value should be adopted by everyone. Together we must make Brăila a safer and a more beautiful place. We have to increase the awareness of everybody that roads should be safer. Everyone must feel happy, relaxed and safe. Because we must not forget: “A safer road means a longer life!”
We, the students of Xth B and IXth B grades of National College “Nicolae Bălcescu” had mobilized in order to analyse the issue of the multitude of local car accidents. The causes of these accidents had been examined during a brainstorming session, coordinated by the guiding teachers, Adela Dimov and Mariana Cîineanu. We divided into teams, so the examination of the problem could be deeper. We had the courage and the determination to make the first step, to start the changing process with the purpose of creating a safer environment.
The collective conclusion was that we had to organize a campaign with a precise and mutual scope: a safer traffic.
We are very aware of the fact that, unfortunately, not all of our city’s streets are very secure. This is why we wish to:
Discover the most dangerous streets;
Certainly determine the cause of the accidents;
Raise the awareness among the community members regarding the high number of accidents that occur in our town;
Sensitize the authorities and together make Braila a better and safer place to live for every one of us;
Contribute to the central objective of the European Union’s Program for road safety 2011- 2020: the reduction by 50% of the mortality related to traffic and road circulation. Analysing the first 9 months of the year of 2018, 78 serious accidents happened. They had as a result 24 deceased persons, 78 people were badly injured and 31 people suffered superficial wounds. By comparison with the same period of the year of 2017, the rate of deaths and casualties increased.
Brăila has mainly six roads and boulevards with intense traffic. We decided to settle the Dorobanților Boulevard as the principal subject. This road has a radial and concentric structure, with two traffic lanes per direction, trams and represents a transit route for many cars that often circulate with a speed higher than the law allows.
The issues that had been found regarding this street are:
The shortage of crosswalks; children and elderly are the most liable age-related categories for accidents. Generally, people are forced to walk through a long way to reach a crosswalk to pass across the street safely, which is why they often prefer to traverse illegally. More details are in the Power Point.
Dorobanților Blvd. is a traffic artery with risky curves which can reach up to 90 degrees. The lack of speed limiters in the areas with this type of curves and the absence of road signs that can warn the drivers about being in a zone prone to imminent accidents favours the appearance of regrettable traffic events. We have been collecting photos of shocking car accidents from residents that have their homes right on that street. We have also interviewed some of the people that live there: each one of them told us that they don’t dare to let their kids play outside, on the pathway, because of the multitude of accidents that usually occur.
The default of parapets located on the edges of the road is, as well, a factor which prevents the cars, implied in an accident, from hitting the nearby houses.
We have created the main poster, representative for the project, which has been exposed at our high school’s fence. Because of this place, it could be seen by everyone who passes by, by car or not, as on the road on which our high school is located there is an intense traffic. Another series of posters has been made and attached to the school’s entrance door, as well as in the classrooms;
2. Two maps had been sketched: the first one illustrates the actual characteristics of the Dorobanților Boulevard and the other one reveals our vision of it. These maps are exposed on our photographic exhibition and everybody who see them, understand that ours initiatives could transform the Dorobanților Boulevard into a safer place;
3. We mobilized to organize a march on the 15th of April 2019 to raise the citizens' awareness regarding the worrying growth in the number of car accidents in our city and also for showing the authorities that we need a change.
We invited the Mayor, Vice Mayor, city’s officials, teachers and school’s leadership.
On 15th of April 2019, the Vice Mayor had accompanied us, all over the march. We were protected by the Local Police, the Traffic Police and the Constabulary. The activity had been promoted and publicized in the local newspaper “Obiectiv- Vocea Brăilei”.
We manufactured some banners which had messages such as “Reduce the speed!”, “Drive carefully!”, “Life has priority!”, “Safer roads”, “Imply cordially!” Also, flyers had been distributed to both pedestrians and drivers met along our way, desiring to stimulate them for a positive change. They were very pleased about our action and we had positive reactions from their side. At the end of the march, the Vice Mayor congratulated us and assured us that he will do everything he can to implement our initiatives. The march had a major impact over the whole community;
4. We wrote a Manifesto that we handed to the Mayor, Vice Mayor and the head of the Local Police. Concretely, we proposed to the Mayor the following changes:
- Two crosswalks should be provided at the crowded intersections of this road: Dorobanților Boulevard – Cloșca Street and Dorobanților Boulevard - Brateș Street;
- Speed limiters should be located before the dangerous curves, described previously, and at crowded intersections, mentioned above;
- Traffic indicators such as “Reduce the speed” should be assembled where most of the accidents happened: the intersections between Dorobanților Boulevard and Brateș, Cloșca, Diana and Albina Streets.
They committed to implement as soon as possible our initiatives, specially the two crosswalks and the speed limiters.
5. One of the team filmed the present situation of the point that we choose as landmark. We questioned the residents, the children and the elderly and they were very cooperative and very pleased that somebody was finally dealing with these problems. The recorded sequences that we collected were united into a short moving picture, attached to our project. We gave it to the Mayor and head of Local Police to help them better understand the problems of risky traffic on Dorobantilor Boulevard;
6. We also made a photographic exhibition after the I.V.A.C. structure, with aspects of the developed activities. This billboard can be found on the National College “Nicolae Bălcescu” Lobby and it is used to disseminate our project. Our teachers and our colleagues who watched the exhibition were very pleased of our work and our initiatives.The Vice Mayor also visited the photografic exhibition.
7. In the end, the whole project will be presented on our school’s website, at the “International Projects” section. Our work will be accessible for anyone, especially for those who want to make changes for responsible behaviours, better environment and safer roads.
It is a must for Brăila to become a secure environment where the kids could play without any worries and securely go to school by bike or skates. More crosswalks are necessary so that we can reach the other side of the street quicker and securely.
A responsible behaviour is the heart of education. It represents each one’s capacity of reaction for his or her personal conduct, as well as the attention he or she must be paying for personal and collective safety. Through the implication of our school, we would like to highlight the value of the responsible behaviours that should be adopted by everyone. Together, we can raise the awareness among the residents, local authorities and make a change for the best.
All of our activities are leading to the same message: “A safer road means a longer life!”