We wanted to initiate all the students as well as everyone from our community into being responsible for their own behaviour and taking care of others in traffic.
We, the group of fifteen 7th grade students decided to do a road safety project because we wanted to make a personal contribution to our community. We come from Jakovo,a small village on the outskirts of Belgrade in Serbia. We are taught about the importance of road safety both from parents and at school but the number of accidents is still significant in our village. We wanted to put emphasis on knowledge and skills for making responsible choices in traffic. We brainstormed some ideas оn the topic of safer traffic in Jakovo. First, we decided to do several workshops on these issues after we had gone on the streets and gathered some evidence and data. We took our cameras, went on the streets and documented traffic at a few problematic spots.
The situation wasn't bright –there were a lot of bad examples -people drinking and driving, talking on the mobile phones while driving, speeding. Neither pedestrians nor cyclists were better - not paying attention while crossing the street, talking on the phone,running across the street not waiting for green lights. Starting from ourselves and our roles in traffic we decided to aim at all 3 categories - pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. We questioned what the worst part about road safety in our place was, we did some research on good and bad examples and made an interview with a policeman about people's behaviour in traffic.
We confirmed that there were a lot of bad things -people drinking and driving,talking on the mobile phones while driving, speeding. We also concluded that people do not give enough importance to these bad statistics until something bad happen to their beloved ones. Oh - the situation was serious! It was time for everyone to take exam on traffic regulations again.
We needed to refresh our knowledge and skills and remind everyone to be more responsible. We did some workshops among our peers and gave some lectures to our younger pupils. We made a few videos to remind them that accidents happen even to our loved ones. We wanted them to remember that the street is not a playground. We alarmed the whole school. Teachers and parents supported us but that wasn’t enough.
We needed to bring our village to its feet by our campaign. We dedicated one day to our initative as a part of Days of school celebration. We got an idea to organise Traffic Safety Day- a big fair in schoolyard with various activities. Pupils from older classes made questions to which pedestrians, cyclists and drivers had to answer correctly two out of three in order to receive our special licenses.
SMART PEDESTRIAN LICENSE! SKILL BICYCLE LICENSE! CLEVER DRIVERS LICENSE!
The licenses were made by the youngest pupils in our school (from 1st -4th grade). Each license was different and unique and each was made with a wish to contribute to our project and make our village safer. We invited some important guests who helped us in the realization of the project.- Belgrade traffic police and Road traffic safety Agency, and citizen assosiation CORBS (center for sustainable development and traffic safety) joined us. Road traffic safety agency lent us drunk glasses so we could see how the world looks like when you are drunk in order to know and never let driving and drinking comes to our minds. We demonstrated our cycling skills on polygon.
The youngest pupils made drawings on the topic, revising what they learnt and then we made an exibition of their works which will stay in our school till the beginning of new semester. Local TV did a coverage of our event! On the following Sunday we talked about the project in a children’s show on a popular national radio station! This was a very satisfying experience. Everyone had a lot of fun getting or revising knowledge and skills and we all felt very proud... This was a giant leap for our ideas and initiative. Safe one, of course!