Our campaign consisted in a claim to the Legislative Power requiring special attention to traffic signs near Loanda’s educational institutions.
First, we were notified that we’d be participating in an international project developed by Group Renault about traffic safety. We were all invited to investigate any problems of road safety in our city. In this way the teacher was able to take better advantage of the brainstorming that would happen later on.
So we went to the street to find traffic problems in our city. There were no guidelines, just attentive students looking for what they considered to be traffic problems, and we found many things, from poorly maintained roads to reckless behaviour of drivers.
Once this initial investigation was completed, our first meeting took place. We complained about the traffic troubles mentioned above. In this meeting, a student told us about a school located near a conveyor company and that many trucks passed in front of the school’s gate above the allowed speed limit and how there were no traffic signs near this educational institution, neither vertical nor horizontal.
We decided to do something about the problem near this school before something bad happened, and so we formulated the following idea: make a demand to the public power for the maintenance of traffic signals near the educational institutions of Loanda.
First of all, we needed to know how to dialogue with the legislative power, so we asked a lawyer for help. This professional warned us about the norms that a public document should follow. At the same time we also photographed the city's schools showing serious traffic signaling problems.
We even made a brief study of the book The Right to the City by the French sociologist Henri Lefebvre. In that study we realized that the State tends to neglect its duties regarding urban planning when its actions are not directly related to the productive system. So it's our duty to pressure the State to do something. This book gave us even more reasons to submit our application to the City Council.
Informed about how to make an application to the public authority, the students came to the Legislative Power and delivered the application officially. Our document also had the signature of about five hundred citizens of Loanda. Our document was based on the argument that the State has a duty to its citizens and Brazilian Legislation has guidelines on traffic signs near schools: a framework of speed limits, crosswalks and areas intended for students arrivals. This is exactly what we asked for in our document, not only for our school but for all schools of our city which don’t have correct signaling.
The city council president and the other councilman were impressed. They said they never saw such young citizens delivering an application to the Legislative Power. We were very well received and they promised to vote on our application as soon as possible.