In February 2016, EASST partner organization the Automobile Club of Moldova (ACM), in partnership with the REPEMOL project and the National Patrol Inspectorate (NPI) held a series of interdisciplinary road safety courses at the Lyceum “Universul” in Chisinau, for pupils in grades 1-5, encouraging them to become more responsible road users and act as good examples for others.
The lessons took place over two days, 10-11 February, and aquainted around 350 pupils with the concept of “safe walking” as well as developing cycling skills through a series of interactive activities, adapted for children of all ages. Representatives from the ACM and NPI worked with the children on the importance of complying with traffic regulations and their responsibilities as pedestrians, cyclists, and even drivers. The main areas addressed included:
- Awareness (traffic is dangerous and can hurt people)
- Behavior (how to stay safe, such as looking both ways when crossing the road)
- To always wear reflective accessories and brightly colored outerwear when walking at night in order to increase visibility
While many pupils had a good awareness of traffic regulations, the children demonstrated that they do not always follow them. As such, the NPI representative highlighted and reinforced the most important traffic regulations, signs and safe crossing techniques.
For example, the children were taught that they should not cross the road just because there is a crosswalk or the traffic light is green but that they should always make sure that the driver has braked, make an eye contact with the driver(s) before stepping out on the street, and look both ways before crossing. They were also encouraged to look out for and obey police officers directing traffic within crossroads.
The lessons were designed to be entertaining and simulate real traffic situations giving the children a unique experience and opportunity to put their learning into practice. All the pupils were very receptive and engaged actively in both the discussions and practical activities, which took place on the simulation traffic ground for children.
These events took place under the pilot intervention “Safe to school – safe to home” as part of the Road Safety Awareness Campaign (in partnership with the TRACECA Road Safety Project II) and funded by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), and the Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) (hosted by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies).