Our project’s objective is to tell children and teenagers about how simple changes in our behavior can contribute to better transit. We did this by means of lectures, developing a quick online game and an illustrated book.
We decided to join the project because we believe that safe mobility is an important issue and that our society really needs to improve its safety-in-transit behavior, so our group accepted the challenge and we started to work.
We used observation as the central tool to discover and understand the biggest road safety problems in our city. While observing the attitudes of people in relation to traffic in our daily lives, we could perceive that citizens face a lot of risky situations all the time and everywhere and that this reality was always in front of us but we hadn’t even realized it. Observation was what we used the most but we also searched on the internet and had our teacher’s help.
While searching internet news sites and observing people's behavior we saw what was evident in our neighborhood, that the biggest problem was related to road safety. Most people cross the street at inappropriate places, like at the BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) range, for example, and that intrigued our group, so we decided to include that in our project, to warn people of how dangerous that behavior is in order to stop it.
With the search done, our group realized that we could help others to change their problematic attitudes on the road, starting with little things like always using a seat belt, crossing the street in the right place or respecting the speed limit of the road. With all that information, we thought we would give the idea to the public: Even with minimal gestures, you can make the difference.
Our Project was divided in three parts:
1- The creation of a web game that reaches all audiences; it is based on cell phone use during transit and on driver's risky behaviors;
2- The development of a children's book to be distributed at our school, the purpose of which is to inform about disrespecting the traffic rules;
3- Giving four lectures at our school to explain risky behavior in traffic as a driver or pedestrian, ways to have better urban mobility, and how to help make the streets safer. We had two lectures for 7 to 10-year-old children and another two for teenagers from 11 to 15 years.
We selected these three ways to build our project and chose children as our target audience because we believe that change needs to start at the base of our society.
The game exclusively addresses cellphone use while driving, and depending on your choices you may or may not have an accident. The game is online and was published on Tumblr, which is a popular social network usually accessed by teenagers.
The book tells about how kids can turn into “transit heroes” if they do their part by using a seat belt or crossing the street at the right place, among other things.
In the lectures, we talked about subjects like the necessity of using a seat belt, cellphone usage while driving, the importance of crossing the street at the pedestrian crossings, how dangerous it is if you drink alcohol and drive, and the diversity of alternative means of transport that we can use to reduce road congestion. We talked about these subjects in order to show people the behaviors that put their lives at risk, and teach them what we should do to avoid future accidents.
The lectures for children were full of images. We compared sports, cartoons and amusement parks with reality so as to entertain the kids while giving our message. They had a lot of dialogue with the group, always asking questions and telling personal stories.
The teenage lectures were more methodic, showing more seriously the consequences of reckless acts, with the help of advertising videos that generated a bigger impact.
We received really good feedback. The children participated during the lectures, telling us their own stories, and they left feeling really enthusiastic about the book. In the teenage lectures they were really paying attention and asking a lot of questions, and after playing the game some students were happy to tell us that their game ended well.
After having done all of these activities, we believe that with this project we have made some people reflect on their incorrect daily habits and those of others. Our goal was fulfilled.