The students at Lockerbie Academy in Scotland have seen too many traffic accidents in their area! They are thankful that this is now changing, because the “Be a Road Safety Investigator” course that has come to their school is helping students to be safer drivers.
The students in class S5 and S6 are older students who are learning to drive, have recently passed their test or will soon be learning to drive – so they are in a prime moment to really feel the impact of road safety education. In their class and with the “Be a Road Safety Investigator” programme, which simulates real traffic accidents and puts students in the role of investigator, they have discussed a wide range of issues.
For example, they discussed the need for cars in their rural area, the figures related to car accidents and young drivers (especially boys), and the risks associated with driving in general. They finally decided that they would like to reflect most of all upon key issues regarding road safety and sustainable mobility in the school’s immediate environment and in the community as a whole.
They concluded that the most important messages they needed to communicate were that young drivers do not take into enough consideration that they themselves can be a risk on the roads, and that they need to be more careful when driving by thinking about speed and risk.
The students wanted to get their messages out through a communication campaign aimed at the school and the local community. To do it, they would use information gathered through research and through their experiences with the “Be a Road Safety Investigator” programme.
For the programme, the police took the students through a local car accident that occurred in 2007. Explanations were given of how the events leading up to the crash were pieced together to bring charges to the three young drivers who were involved - one of these drivers had passed their driving test just the day before. They discussed the causes, which made the students carefully consider their own driving and the responsibility of gaining the keys to a car.
At the end, the road crash investigators put up the ages of all the people responsible and when they had passed their tests. This was very hard hitting for the students, since they were of approximately the same age. The students will share their findings and experiences with the public - and their material is also being taken up on a national level to become part of the Scottish standard syllabus! A welcome change in education and a triumph for road safety!