Campaign for the improvement of signs and roads in Totana, Spain
Our town, Totana, has a big pottery industry. For this reason, there are a lot of people using our roads, yet many of the roads are outdated and without appropriate traffic signs.
Every morning, teachers, students and parents who use the Alhama-Totana road have to go through fog banks on their way to school or work. There is not any kind of traffic or warning signals and drivers can’t see properly, so there is a high risk of accidents.
When you arrive at the entrance of Totana by this road you find a badly signaled roundabout where there are frequent accidents, most of them at night. This is because the roundabout is poorly lit and the bushes and ornaments that decorate it make visibility around the roundabout difficult.
- FIRST ACTIONS
First, because the project was going to be worked on using the tools of image and sound, the class group decided that multimedia materials, such as presentations or videos, would be developed.
The project began with an analysis of different road safety situations and sustainable mobility in our city by students who took pictures and presented their proposals on a paper. Along with these proposals were a brainstorming session and a vote to select the idea that the entire class group would work on.
Once the idea was chosen, a study group was formed and divided into several teams in order to perform different tasks:
1. - Prepare a survey to ask the users of these routes.
2. - Make recordings of the area during the day and at night.
3. - Edit the video with a video editing program.
4. - Devise possible solutions and translate them into a quality presentation.
Secondly, once the survey questions were prepared, each student conducted the following survey of road users about the roundabout (at least one survey per student). Here are some of the questions and answers:
1. - How often do you drive around the roundabout and on the Totana-Alhama road? Users often go through the roundabout daily and down the road at least once a week.
2. - Do you detect any problems in these areas? Which? The ornamentation of the roundabout hinders visibility and at night there is poor lighting. On that stretch of road the asphalt is in very poor condition.
3. - In your opinion, do you think drivers know the limitations of that stretch of roadway? In general the inhabitants of the zone do know the limitations of the stretch but sporadic users do not.
4. - Do you think the stretch is well signposted? Some users responded that the signaling was in accordance with the law, although there were no signs of access to the industrial estate. Others thought that it was correct.
5. – Can you think of a solution to the problem? They could put more luminous signals.
In order to find some possible solutions, we carried out some actions to raise awareness in our town council and among our fellow citizens about these problems.
We again divided the class into several groups to handle the following multimedia materials:
• A presentation with the results of the surveys of road users about the road and the roundabout.
• A video showing the current condition of these roads.
• A presentation that explains the possible solutions we have devised.
• An explanatory poster project that has been published on the institute's website.
At the same time, we have deliberated on a series of proposals to make to the city council in order to find ways of solving this situation.
• Setting up warning signs on the road.
• Installing lit up beacons and markers on the road.
• Setting up traffic signs to warn the drivers of the roundabout.
• Improving the lighting of the roundabout.
• Removing the ornaments in the roundabout.
All these materials have been made public and shared through talks held at the center to publicize this project.
Teachers and students of the school, members of the management team of the parents' association and the town authorities were invited to attend these talks.
The talks closed with debates where participants discussed the accuracy of the initiatives’ solutions.
We thought it was a good idea to do this work as it seems an excellent way to raise awareness among young people about road safety. Overall the project has been very good; the organization in the class has been excellent and we all collaborated and knew how to work as a team. The only drawback is that in the second year of high school there is not much free time between examinations, jobs, and more exams but we have made an effort to do our best.