100 students at an Iranian school decided that the best way to reduce the high number of deaths on their country’s roads was to become police officers themselves.
During a meeting with a police officer, the students learnt that around 24,000 people die each year in car accidents in Iran, largely because the traffic laws are not observed, and because drivers make mistakes.
The students also concluded that accidents also occur because the roads are not safe enough for driving. They also highlighted other causes of accidents, such as night driving and driving when it’s raining or snowing.
The students decided that concrete solutions could be implemented as preventative measures. These include separating the pedestrian and the cyclists’ paths, installing solar-powered lights on the roads and using a special kind of asphalt that doesn’t freeze.
The students took the initiative to learn the driving rules and teach them to the wider community by ‘transforming themselves’ into police officers. They even received uniforms so that they could fully embrace their new roles and responsibilities.
The Iranian New Year holidays (named Nowrooz and starting on 20 March), last approximately two weeks, and represent are a very challenging time in terms of road safety: most families are traveling, which creates certain chaos and leads people to ignore the rules. This consequently provokes many fatal accidents.
The students worked alongside with ‘real’ policemen and stopped vehicles on the roads to remind the drivers of the road safety rules. During Nowrooz, they also assumed roles as police officers of their own families.
Utterly convinced that the best way to ensure more conscious driving is to educate drivers during their youth, the students also created and presented a theater play to explain the driving rules to their peers in an educational and entertaining way.