Road safety is a serious topic, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring! Students at I.I.S.S.Tartaglia-Olivieri School remembered this when they created four fun videos to educate their peers on safe behavior.

The ideas

The students talked about the roads and traffic near their school, and decided that they are very fortunate to be in an area that is not extremely high risk for traffic accidents. Still, they identified some areas that can be improved – mainly in regards to the students and their behavior as pedestrians and as passengers on public transportation.

They observed students on their way to and from school to determine which specific behaviors most needed to be addressed. They chose to focus on decreasing traffic by increasing the use of public transport and on building a better knowledge among their peers of street rules. They realized that there was no need to create complicated messages – the students most often ignored the simplest rules, needlessly creating dangerous situations for themselves and others.

Based on their brainstorming and investigation, the students decided to create a series of videos that would focus on drink driving, the benefits of riding the bus, and following pedestrian rules when crossing the street. They also decided that they had seen enough videos and campaigns that are too serious – they would create videos to be both educative and entertaining!

The initiatives

Making a video production is a lot of work, and the students planned to make four! They got started by dividing into four groups of six people, who were able to do some of the work at school but much of it had to be carried out at home. Their dedication was clear in the great quality of the finished videos.

Each group chose the subject to develop, the message to convey, the kind of video to shoot, and the written text with which to narrate the action. Then they assembled the material, each group working in a different creative way.

One group used Legos to create a stop-animation video about drink driving. The scene took place in a nightclub with a cool soundtrack that students would enjoy. Another focused on the problem of students jumping over barriers to cross a busy road near the school instead of taking just a bit of extra time to go the stoplight and use the pedestrian crossing.

They secretly filmed some young people in the act of jumping the barriers, then talked them into using the crossing. A third video showed the difference between safe and dangerous behavior when crossing the road and riding the bus, with student actors to demonstrate. And last but not least, a fourth video with another great soundtrack gave a very convincing argument about the benefits of taking public transportation. You have to be more careful with time, but riding the bus is safer and it saves you money!

The overall aim of the campaign was to introduce a culture of road safety to as many young people as possible, using language and mediums that they relate to. So far, the videos have been received with real enthusiasm and appreciation. Later in May, all of the students at the school - about 1500 - will be surveyed on the effectiveness of the campaign and whether it made them think about road safety and their own behavior.

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