In November 2015, EASST’s Moldovan partner Automobile Club of Moldova, together with the REPEMOL project and the National Patrol Inspectorate launched a pilot scheme aimed at educating school children, along with their parents and teachers, about the importance of road safety.
The project began with several meetings and training sessions for teachers, pupils and their parents at the ‘Universul’ Lyceum, in Chisinau. The key objective of the intervention is to improve child safety during the walk to and from school.
The events took place under the pilot intervention ‘Safe to school – safe to home’ within the Road Safety Awareness Campaign (in partnership with the TRACECA Road Safety Project II) and funded by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).
In October 2014, at the sub-regional workshop on the ‘Road safety fundamentals and interventions’, organized by the ACM, GRSP and EASST, a working group was established in the Republic of Moldova, which subsequently developed an action plan for the project.
The action plan outlined that improving children’s safety on their way to school is possible by the implementation of well-established measures, such as:
· improving road safety near the school
· introducing quality road safety education initiatives to foster a safer environment for children to walk to school, deploying teachers, parents and the pupils directly
· raising public awareness and improving local authorities attitude towards helping children to stay safe on the way to and from school.
The meetings at the ‘Universul’ Lyceum were organized as workshops with 54 teachers from primary and secondary schools, aiming to identify and implement the most effective and direct methods for teaching safe walking skills to children. Parents and pupils were invited to participate in the workshops. There were a lot of road safety issues discussed, specific to the area where the school is located, and participants debated possible solutions to the issues they faced. Every teacher received a set of working tools to be used for the road safety lessons, as well as other school activities.
The Lyceum Student Council also participated in discussions concerning road safety education. Students were asked to discuss the various risks and challenges during their journey to and from school, to answer questions on the topic and to offer ideas on dealing with certain situation relating to road safety. At the end of the workshop, students received various awards for their participation. The prizes awarded took the form of road safety stationery; reflectors, vests, pencils, copy books and other school items.
Feedback following the workshops was wholly positive. All the participants agreed to apply the taken methodology to education practice and everyday life. They also established road traffic injury prevention strategies and planned the safety promotion actions, which should be implemented in the near future.