Watch your step!

Colégio SESI Internacional de Ponta Grossa

The students thought about how they could improve their safety while crossing the elevated crosswalk in front of their school.

The ideas

Ponta Grossa is a city where drivers and car traffic are still evolving; people get involved in accidents for silly reasons and for not paying attention to their surroundings and that's not different in front of Colégio SESI Internacional, Colégio SESI and Senac schools where there is an elevated crosswalk.

The students had the idea of interviewing the people that work, study or pass in front of the schools and asked them three questions:

1- How do you get to work/school?

Most of them answered that they get to school/work by car.

2- Have you ever witnessed an accident in front of the school?

Two persons answered that they were present when an accident happened and one student suffered an accident while crossing the street on the elevated crosswalk.

3- How do you think that the elevated crosswalk can be safer for everyone? 

Everyone answered that there should be more signs warning drivers about the schools and there should be speed reducers for the cars when they get closer to the crossing, giving more time for the pedestrians to react to any uncommon situation.

The initiatives

After the interview, the students created a pamphlet and prepared a speech to be given to drivers and pedestrians while handing in the paper, to help them understand better the meaning and the importance of the elevated crosswalk in front of the school and how it can slow down the cars that pass in front of the schools, making their crossing easier and safer. It was not so easy because they didn't have the local authorities support to help controlling the traffic, so it had to be quick and they had to deal with some stressed drivers that didn't want to "waste time" with them. They also spoke to a city councilor to ask about how they can make their school area safer for everybody that goes there or passes by and he said that some measures could be taken, but it takes time, money and a lot of bureaucracy to be made. The students also sent an email to the city mayor asking about the measures and when they could be applied to avoid traffic accidents; until now they got no answer.

They came to the conclusion that the first step to make everything safer is having respect and responsibility from both sides, drivers and pedestrians, so we don't need to wait for public investments or someone to take note of the problems. We have to be the changes that we want to take place.

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