Our main goal was to build awareness and consciousness of the three existing problems selected; those three problems are: poor usage of helmets, lack of alternate forms of transportation (motorcycles and bikes), disobeying the traffic signs.
We planned on changing the way people think by tapping into the actions they do on a daily basis. As teens, we know what other people our age want in life. We planned on using the power of social networking sites to transmit our messages to friends and family, who will help us to spread the message around, creating a chain that will continue until action and responsibility is taken, and there is a change in the way we think. Our project is based on three aspects. The first one is being responsible and respectful of signs, pedestrians and other drivers. The second one is finding alternate means of transportation, and third is the importance of using a helmet.
The reason for choosing the use of helmets and knowing the traffic signs was because 50% of the population in our city commutes by motorcycle and they don’t respect the traffic signs. There were 32 accidents per day registered last year and 10 of the people involved in the accidents were not wearing helmets, nor did they respect the traffic signs. The third topic was using alternate transportation; this became about because of the traffic situation right in front of our school. Parents park and block the street and this was causing traffic jams. Our city is still small enough, and most of the students live close enough to ride their bikes to school.
We designed various activities with our students to get the community on board to join our cause. These activities included the use of video skits and blogs, games and questionnaires to find out how much they know and care, enabling us to re-orient them into considering safety measures to protect people’s lives.
We created a Facebook page called OUR LIFE, OUR RESPONSILIBTY and began uploading videos with advice and tips on how people can help play a very important part in this campaign.
We also created a YouTube channel called OUR LIFE, OUR RESPOSIBILITY and uploaded videos that explain the campaign.
On campus, we presented the campaign to a group of students who gave us positive feedback and opinions.
Then we made questionnaires where we asked the student community some questions related to safety and mobility. We also conducted a test to register how well they knew the most common traffic signs and symbols. The information obtained was analyzed and used to reinforce some aspects that were weak. The process of the quiz was: brainstorming on what aspects to take into account; what would be included and why; how it would be presented in the survey; who would apply the survey and to whom; and how to process the information. It was decided to give it to students who are more likely to have a car in the very near future or who are actually driving. The results were that 90% of the students are already driving a car but only 40% of them know what the traffic signs mean in their city and only 20% of the latter respect the signals.
We made posters and placed them inside the school so all the students would have contact with our campaign.
In order to teach rules, regulations and traffic signs to junior high school students, we had a rally, which we all enjoyed, where the students learned first hand how to use their bikes and follow the traffic signs and symbols. This activity was very important since the teens will share the information acquired with their parents and other family members. First, we decided to teach the rules and regulations through a designed route or course in which the students had to follow the route and read the signs (yield; stop; red, yellow, green traffic signals; pedestrian crossings; etc.). The students rode bikes through the route and received fines each time the signs were not respected. The students who made a cleaned route were given an award. The feedback from the participating students was that it was very educational and they would, from now on, tell their parents to respect speed limits, traffic signs and traffic rules.
The presentations received positive feedback and they found the information to be clear and useful.