Different nationalities, same goal – to help encourage pedestrians to be safe! Whether you are on your way to work or school or just taking a stroll, we aim to make you aware of how you can reach your destination safely.
LET'S DO THIS!
Being in the sixth most populated city in Guangzhou, our number one concern is the safety of the pedestrians in this community. As the saying goes, 'Charity begins at home'; so we decided to assess what issues pedestrians face in our closest surroundings, the Baiyun district streets near the Baiyun Mountain. In our first discussion we tried to determine what group of people we would be targeting with our project. The first thing we recognized is that in addition to the huge multitude of people flowing in and out of Baiyun Mountain, our community has three schools in it. The first is a public university, and there’s our school and our sister school, Alcanta Chinese School. To narrow our focus, we decided to target the students as they are the dominant members of this community. They are our focus in terms of strategies such as presentations and workshops. However, we still have general strategies that can be accessed by all pedestrians in our community.
Our first approach in brainstorming the risky behaviors that pose a threat to the pedestrians in our community was through a focus group discussion. Some of the potential problems we identified were: use of distractive electronics while walking on the road, not obeying the traffic lights, crossing where there is no zebra crossing and running while crossing the road – either to cross a few seconds before a red light or to catch a bus. Then we realized that we needed to further understand how people see such risky behaviours. Do they even find them risky at all? Do they think it affects them? Are these even problems that still exist in our society or just simply things we have heard in some of the road safety sessions we have in school? To answer these questions, we decided to conduct an online survey through the SurveyMonkey application. We asked members of the Baiyun community to respond to our survey so that we could assess the relevance of the issues we have been tackling in the project.
The survey link is http://www.survey.com/r/38VRNCW
We had only six questions in the survey. Four of them addressed questions on what pedestrians do that puts them at risk. The questions were:
‘What have I done?’ (When at a street light); ‘On the road I…?’ (Addressing the distractive elements used while crossing); ‘Where do I cross?’; and ‘How important is road safety?’ The other two were addressing how cyclists and motorist may pose a threat to pedestrian safety. The first was: ‘What do my parents do when driving?’ and ‘When riding a bicycle I…?’
From the survey responses we found that generally 52% had dangerous behavior and 48% had at least once been involved in a risky behavior like listening to loud music on the road or streets. Our focus group discussion and the survey helped us to decide on the two things we were going to focus on.
1. Use of electronics when crossing the roads or on the street
The popularity of the use of luxury electronics like iPods have been increasing and so have the threats associated with the overuse of these devices. Moreover, as a majority of people in our closest community are students from the three schools in our street, this is a very crucial aspect to address, as the use of these devices is more popular in the younger age group such as this ours.
2. Not following traffic lights
From the adverts and school education, most if not all people know that a red light means stop. However, we witness people not obeying this rule. We think a cause of this, in our community for example, is hurrying to get to school or work on time. Therefore, we aim to remind people of the importance of being safe over being fast.
OUR MAIN IDEA: Prevention is better than Cure.
To our target group we aim to pass on the belief that the benefits of being safe outweigh any pleasure (listening to music) or hurry (rushing to cross when it is red or almost red ).
To achieve our goal to pass on the slogan that “Prevention is better than Cure” we used various techniques to reach our target group. As we have previously stated, our target group is pedestrians in the Baiyun community, especially students from the three schools in Baiyun Dadao Nan street .
The first and most student-specific strategy we used was presentations and workshops. In these presentations we tackled two issues. The first was on the use of electronics on the road. Knowing the popularity of electronics among young people/students – our main target group –this has been the first aspect we tackled. Another very basic but crucial topic we discussed was obeying traffic lights. Knowing the hurry that most students are in to arrive to school on time, in our presentation we reminded them that it is more important to be there late but safe rather than losing so many school days because you are stuck in a hospital. We also addressed other issues like: crossing only at zebra crossings and not running when crossing the road. After the presentation, we asked students to make posters on what they had learnt; we were pleased with their responses and the outcome. One of the best can be found on the upper right of this page.
The second approach was through the YouTube videos. In the first video a student listening to loud music is seen in the video; the video ends with her being knocked down by a motor bike. We used this short story strategically. First, because of how common the use of devices like iPods are on the roads and streets, and second, because of the popularity of the use of motor bikes and bicycles. In Guangzhou these two forms of transport are very common. As these cyclists are closer to pedestrians than vehicles, the increasing popularity of bikes increases the probability of accidents if no care is taken. At high speed an accident with a bicycle can cause substantial injuries to both the cyclist and pedestrian. Therefore, in this video we aim to be cautious both on the busy streets and roads. The second video is a mini video to increase awareness on the effect of using devices when on the road. The second video was used in our presentations, and later posted on YouTube for later access.
Furthermore, we made two awareness posters. The first poster was pasted up at school as well as near the elevator in apartments. The attention grabbing poster showed an X-ray of a cracked skull as the result of an accident. The caption in this poster was in both English and Chinese. We translated it as we recognized the need to inform our Chinese speaking neighbors, brothers and sisters who are the majority of our community. The posters basically warned them about the various risky behaviors, lest that be their last X-ray. The second poster is again an emphasis on one of the main parts of our project’s campaign against the use of electronics when crossing the roads.
Our project was summed up in an article we posted using the school’s official WeChat account. The article was a summary of all the basic yet crucial road safety concerns that we had addressed through the videos, posters and presentations at school. It is a supplement of all we did, as whoever missed the presentations or for some reasons is unable to access Youtube can still be able to gain the basic important reminders. As the account can be accessed by both students, parents and teachers in our community, we believe it has helped us reach our target group, the pedestrians of the Baiyun community. Whether you own a car or not, we are all potential pedestrians!
LET’S DO IT!