Road safety education helps children in central Athens to become safer road users
In 2015, there were 793 road fatalities in Greece. Seventeen per cent were children or young people under the age of 24. Road safety is a vital life skill for children and young people to ensure every journey they make is safe and healthy.
In Athens, the journey to and from school can be particularly hazardous for children. Traffic is heavy at all times of day, and many cars park on the streets and across crossing areas, making it difficult for children to see, or be seen, when they are crossing the road. Seat belt wearing rates in Greece are also poor, and particularly so in urban centres where child restraint use is just 57 per cent and only 19 per cent of all rear-seat passengers wear a seat belt.
To help promote children’s road safety in the city, EASST partner Make Roads Safe Hellas have formed a partnership with the Hellenic Motor Museum where the EASST Road Safety Education Pack is now being used as part of their education programme for local schoolchildren. The education programme provides a vital service to local schools through providing road safety training as part of the national school curriculum.
On 13th March, EASST visited the Motor Museum to see the Education Pack being used to teach a class of young children from a nearby school. The children were given a special welcome and words of advice on road safety by racing driver and editor-in-chief of DRIVE magazine, Mihalis Georgiades before the session started. The training then focused on teaching children to stop, look and listen when crossing the road as well as focusing on the importance of wearing seat belts correctly. It was great to see the Education Pack being adapted in this way to target the most relevant road safety issues for children in Athens.
The Greek version of the EASST Road Safety Education Pack has now trained over 2000 children in Crete and Athens. In Crete, the Pack was voted the number one initiative by teachers in 2016 and has gained endorsements from teachers and local authorities to be rolled out further.