From skateboards to electronic bikes, there’s a lot of ways to move - and they all form a part of road safety! Students from Martin, Slovakia created an initiative for one mode of transport that’s both fun and safe for the environment.
Students from the Secondary Vocational School of Transportation in Slovakia discussed some unique aspects of road safety before planning their initiative, like sustainable development, green transport, daily commuting, and more.
They came to some important conclusions. Sustainable development requires green transport, and this can be as simple as bicycles or our own legs – provided each municipality supports it with the necessary infrastructure like walking and bike paths. And making these forms of transport both sustainable and safe means road and pedestrian safety education. However, the students identified one mode of transportation that’s often ignored by road safety, despite its growing popularity: in-line skating.
Lots of road safety information is available for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians but there’s not much created especially for skaters, who face special challenges in keeping safe. They often skate in the bicycle lanes, which puts them at risk of both cars and bicycles, and since many skaters go out at dusk their risk increases due to reduced visibility. The students decided to develop an initiative that would support this green transportation and protect the people who use it.
The students identified two different audiences that they needed to reach with their initiative: in-line skaters, and local policy makers. They developed different actions and messages for both of them.
For the skaters, they wanted to both encourage them and help them to be safer. Visibility is a regular problem with in-line skates, so the students did something really innovative…they designed a prototype for a safer in-line skate. It was a great and simple idea, so they quickly found a manufacturer to produce their prototype. The design took the dynamo bike light design and adapted it to skates, greatly increasing visibility. They tested the prototype in Martin and the surrounding area, and it worked perfectly!
But another major success would be for the city officials to adjust the bicycle lane to accommodate skaters too, making an official space for them in the city’s mobile community. For this, they will develop such a plan and present it to city hall.
With time, the students are sure they will win a safe mobility experience for in-line skaters!