This project aims to implement an awareness campaign in our school and community regarding road safety and sustainable mobility. The focus of our work was our school surroundings because of the lack of traffic signs and safety controls on the street.
At our school students and teachers discussed road safety, risk behaviours and sustainable mobility through slide presentations and student/teachers debates. The main teacher in charge of this project did great research on this theme, and brought real data to the students. The teacher accessed and used the "Your ideas Your Initiatives" website to work on the subject with the students. After all of this knowledge and experiences sharing, we started thinking about our surroundings, considering Edgar Morin's words: "Think globally, act locally". As our school is new in the city and the area around the school building is not properly signed with traffic warnings, crosswalks, transit signs, or even a proper sidewalk for the students to walk to the supermarket where they usually have lunch every day.
Considering all the aspects mentioned, the pedagogical team got in touch with the Department of Traffic in the city to expose this situation and explain the necessity of making adjustments and improvements to the school surroundings. We explained that the school is part of an international project related to these kinds of road safety issues, and that it would be great if we could walk, drive and cycle more safely. The students were also motivated to produce flyers about road safety and risk behaviours to distribute to drivers at the traffic light 3 blocks from our school. For this intervention to happen, students also made a banner to indicate the action.
The flyer produced by the students was really creative: they took the pictures themselves, with the supervision of the art teacher; the idea was to make something different and original to impact people. The flyer topics were: not using a cell phone while driving or walking along the street, the use of helmets, the use of seatbelts and the necessity of pedestrian sidewalks and crosswalks. The material was produced in Portuguese and in English.
Furthermore, students were encouraged to think and discuss more about road safety by writing a composition on the theme. So, in their writing class they had the opportunity to write an argumentative text about the issue. The best compositions won a small prize which was provided by the school team.
All of the actions were presented to the parents at our parent’s meeting on April the 29th. Also, we posted many pictures and messages on social networks to show the community the actions we have been working on regarding road safety and sustainable mobility.
The project "Your Ideas Your Initiatives" by Renault made us think about this important issue which we deal with every day. From the day we started thinking and working on the project we became more aware about our surroundings, our reality and what we needed to provide a safe environment for everyone: our students, our school staff and also the people who live in the neighborhood. The main initiative we implemented at our school, which has lead to a big impact in our community, was getting in touch with the Department of Traffic to ask for adjustments and improvements, because no one had done that in this neighborhood before, although everyone was aware of the need. The initiative of distributing flyers to the local people/drivers and talking briefly with them about the topic was also a significant initiative in terms of making people aware of some things we need to change in order to have a better environment.