Our task has been to raise schoolchildren's awareness about road safety and to teach them safety rules to avoid danger on the roads by holding different activities.
Our native city Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, has been experiencing a car boom for more than a decade. Every year more and more automobiles are appearing on our roads, which we inherited from the former Soviet Union, and which were not designed for so much transport.
We must mention that there are some reasons that have caused the current road situation. Firstly, the number of cars in each family has increased greatly. Secondly, since 2014, because of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, many citizens of that region have moved to Kyiv and have added to the problem. Being aware of the road situation in our city, we decided to participate in the project to raise consciousness about the problem of not following traffic rules in our immediate vicinity. The more conscious, careful and obedient we are on the road, the fewer car accidents there will be.
Before launching the project we had to answer the following questions:
Who is going to participate in it?
1. Students: We are the future of the country.
2. Teachers: To set good examples they should be people without any flaws.
3. Parents: They are responsible for us, their children.
What strategies and resources are we going to use?
- observe the situation on the city roads on the way to and from school;
- learn about the issue from the internet and special TV programs;
- conduct a survey among students;
-interview teachers and parents on the topic of obeying road safety rules as drivers and pedestrians.
-a poster contest, presentations ,a flash mob, a puppet performance, spreading road safety leaflets, a road safety lecture, school radio broadcasts and a school newspaper about road safety.
-Project: "A Smart Car".
Where are we going to conduct the research and education activities?
- Our school and its immediate vicinity.
We started our project by creating our working team including the eighth-formers of our school. We decided that our school was our “country”, named the URRS (the United Rules of Road Safety). Thus, our team was our “government” consisting of three departments: Research, Education, and Invention.
Next, our “Research Department” started researching. They watched TV, surfed the internet to know about road safety. They also observed the situation on the way to and from school. They learnt that every day many car accidents happened on the roads of our city because of driver and pedestrian disobedience. They witnessed a great number of road safety rules being broken. The survey “How Road Safety Minded Are You?” which they conducted among the tenth and eighth graders showed that the majority of students (66,6 %) tried to do their best to improve their road safety skills; 20% of students risked their lives on the road and should be more careful; only 13,3 % were really road safety-minded. Also, our Research Department interviewed our teachers and parents and found out that the younger generation was less obedient and more careless on the road than adults. Finally, they held an essay competition “The Road Accident I Witnessed or Heard about”. The best essays were published in our school newspaper to attract more people’s attention to the problem and to raise their awareness about it.
First, we created our flag with white and black stripes resembling a zebra crossing with road rules written on them and a traffic light in the top-left corner. Then we composed our anthem, “The Road Safety”, with lyrics by Svitlana Mandryk, and music by the Ukrainian pop composer Konstantin Meladze , and we asked the girls from our choir to sing it.
Our “Education Department” started their work by holding a poster contest to choose the motto for our team. The winning poster says, “On the road there must be friendship, happy faces, good relations”. Then they presented traffic rules to primary school children and the history of a zebra crossing and a traffic light to the fifth formers. There was also a master class to make mini flags for our flash mob. The goal of the flash mob was to unite the students and teachers of our school and to demonstrate our awareness of the problem. The highlight of our Education Department’s activities was a puppet performance for the primary school children, “The Little Red Riding Hood in a Big City”. We also spread leaflets about road safety rules among our students, parents and teachers and they were very interested, asking questions about the project and supporting our initiative. The most memorable event for the eighth formers was the meeting with a traffic police officer. We should mention that about two years ago police reform was introduced in the Ukraine. So we were really proud to discuss the road situation freely and frankly with a representative of the new police. He could speak pretty good English, was qualified in his answers and made us sure that together we would be able to improve the road situation in the near future.
Our boys from the “Invention Department” introduced some ideas on how to modernize a car for our imperfect roads and for unaware drivers and pedestrians. They provided such ideas as smart lockers, a sensitive handle, a smart seatbelt, adaptive tires and a sensitive windshield.
In general, the project turned to be a great opportunity for us to research, to share our knowledge, to create and to do our best to improve our city and to raise our citizens’ awareness about the present road situation.