In Iran, most traffic accidents happen because drivers don’t obey the rules of the road, resulting in about 24,000 deaths each year. The students at Shohadaye Karegar Complex School trained young people to be police representatives to help enforce safe driving.
After conducting research on the topic, the students concluded that there are two main causes of traffic accidents in their country: drivers that don’t obey traffic laws and unsafe road conditions, especially in the rain and snow. They brainstormed lots of great ideas to help reduce deaths on the road but decided to focus their efforts on implementing the best one. Together they chose the “Police Representative” plan, which teaches traffic laws and responsible behaviour to students so they can enforce them in the car with their own families as well as on the street in their communities.
The message that the students wanted to get across was that everyone can act as a police representative in their own family and in society to help prevent others from breaking traffic laws and putting themselves and others in danger. By making the students responsible for communicating with their families about road safety, it helped everyone to understand that road safety requires an effort from each individual.
They decided that the best time to implement the project would be during the Iranian New Year holidays when many families in the country are travelling on the road.
As the first step to putting their plans into action, the students needed to define exactly what would be taught to the police representatives. They worked together to define the ways in which they would be most effective, creating a teaching module that included points like observing speed limits, not taking drugs or medications that cause drowsiness, not using mobiles while driving and not passing other cars in unsafe situations. These were identified as the key areas where the police representatives could be most effective
They then selected four classes of about 25 students each to take part in a series of 8 training sessions lasting 3 hours each about the project, its mission and vision, the ideas behind it and the actions to be implemented. Teachers and local police collaborated with the students to help get the greatest effect. They explained to the students what their new role as police representatives would involve – taking responsibility to remind their family members about safe driving behavior. The students were given special police representative uniforms and the project went into effect shortly before the Iranian New Year holidays in March, a time when many families are travelling on the road.
To complement the actions by the police representatives, the students also created a blog about the project and its progress, they wrote and designed a brochure highlighting the most important traffic laws and responsible behaviours, and they designed a special notebook for the police representatives to record traffic violations.
Teachers, local police and the community support the students in their great effort and thank them for making this year’s New Year holiday much safer!