Students at the Government Middle School in India had plenty to complain about regarding road safety. In fact, some complained that they feared for their lives each time they came to and left their school!
The Shankar Nagar Middle School in Bilaspur, India is located near a very busy bridge and exit for a national highway. Besides the middle school, there are two other schools. With two or three accidents taking place each week, the children face a real challenge when coming and going from school. The students decided to have a class brainstorming session to try come up with some solutions to the problem.
They knew that the nearby Bharat Mata School had designed a traffic plan and was able to successfully implement the idea, so the students at Shankar Nagar decided to try the same approach. They thought about the different possibilities to improve the situation, choosing the ones that would be most effective and easy to implement.
They thought the best ideas were to let students out of school in a queue, to appoint traffic controllers at crossings and intersections, to have student representatives and teachers explain to the drivers the importance of driving slow, and to place speed breakers near the school.
The students and their teachers have been following a methodology when designing their initiative. The steps are to identify the problem, brainstorm solutions, plan how to implement them, implement the plan, and finally evaluate and make adjustments to arrive at success!
They are currently in the implementation phase, and are beginning to see the results of their hard work. They have begun asking students to form a line when leaving the school, and have selected students and teachers to be representatives. The students are focusing on other students to make them aware of safe pedestrian behavior and to remind them to be extra careful around the highway exit. The students and teachers have also been sharing their road safety messages the general community. The students also went to the traffic department and staged a silent protest, so the authorities have taken an interest in the school!
So far they are increasing pressure on drivers near the school to go slow, and promise to take further actions such as putting in speed breakers. People from many different areas of the community have truly come together to share the message of the campaign: Everyone’s life is precious… Go slow to save lives.