Our Lyceum is in Kyiv where there's much traffic, so we participated in the project to draw attention to road safety and to help our students to be responsible pedestrians now and responsible drivers in the future.
Our school, the Ukrainian Humanities Lyceum, is one of the top schools in Ukraine. Students come to school from the outskirts of the city and the region. Because of this, most students face the difficulties of daily inter-municipal mobility. The quantity of lives lost due to road accidents in 2015 alone is comparable to the loss of life during the Ukraine-Russia war in the East of Ukraine between 2014-2016. And Kiev is the most unsafe city in Ukraine.
Students and teachers joined together during extracurricular time to identify road safety issues; we discussed the main principles of safety behavior, watched road safety advert videos and analyzed accident statistics for Ukraine. We defined three groups of reasons for road accidents: irresponsible behavior due to the mentality of the population, imperfect road infrastructure (potholes on the roads, bad transport interchanges, etc), political drawbacks (road safety laws, drivers’ impunity because of corruption of judges, etc). We came to the conclusion that changes must start from our own behavior, our attitudes towards safety and our value of life. For this reason, we proposed to arrange an exhibition of road safety posters (taken from the internet). During the preparation for the exhibition, we researched the internet and discovered the lack of posters in Ukrainian. Most of them are in English and Russian but not in Ukrainian.
Also, we were asked by our teachers about the behavior of our parents and other adults. We understood that they were not examples to follow. That’s why it was decided to meet with the parents in order to make an announcement of the project and involve them in the development of initiatives and the realization of the project topic.
There are several alternative ways to reach the school; we decided to identify where the concentration of student residences were located and determine the safest routes between home and the lyceum, and also to work out initiatives for road safety improvement.
Activities we organized:
1. An exhibition of road safety posters from the internet was arranged focusing on road safety problems; prevention of unsafe student behavior, and the announcement of a road safety poster competition in Ukrainian for students. We designed our own posters in Ukrainian and chose the best ones. Each class prepared 1-2 posters. After this, the best posters were presented to the Kyiv police department.
2. Marking student and teacher residence areas with flags and pins on the Kyiv map in order to define safe routes between home and the lyceum, determine unsafe areas (with red flags) and work out initiatives for road safety improvements of these areas.
3. There was a meeting with the Deputy Chief of the Kyiv Police, Mr. Dmitry Yevdokimov, on the following issues: cooperation between youth and the police; discussion of the main challenges for the management of road traffic and reforms of the Ukrainian police. We were interested in the possibility of improving road safety at places we identified and agreed to give our best posters to the Kiev police department along with the best initiatives for their implementation.
4. The best initiatives for the road safety improvement by students were presented to the Kiev police for further implementation.