“Are our children safe on the roads?” asks EASST’s partner the Belarussian Auto Moto Touring Club (BKA). The BKA team have concluded that the answer is a definite ‘no’ and in 2014 they subsequently launched their project ‘Save Kids Lives. Stop Killing Us On Roads’, alongside their ‘Belarusian Family for Road Safety’ campaign.
The ongoing EASST funded project aims to highlight and improve child safety on the roads via a series of live stories focusing on this issue through the eyes of Belarussian children. The video aims to promote the rights of the child and how to help ensure that they travel safely on the roads.
The production of, and interviewing within the video, was all conducting and organised by the children who gave their advice and recommendations to improve road safety. The children appeal to adults in the series of videos to encourage them to think about and improve child safety.
Each story is dedicated to a particular road safety issue such seat belt use, drink driving, and speeding and involves real life road traffic collision victims. Children involved in the project called on adults to support the #SaveKidsLives campaign and sign the Child Declaration for Road Safety. Politicians and decision makers were also called upon to support the campaign.
The video has since become a foundation stone for national road safety campaigning and education for the 2015-2020 period, and an invaluable road safety tool for children, that is actively and successfully being used by governmental and non-governmental sectors to observe traffic road rules, reduce fatality rates and save lives on the road. More than 10,000 copies have been made and circulated throughout Belarus.
A short version of the video has been showing on almost all state and commercial TV channels since December 2014. Between January and May 2015, 20 road safety campaigns to promote the video were organised by BKA in kindergartens, schools, universities and companies within Minsk and other regional cities of the Republic of Belarus, with strong support from the Traffic Road Police.
The project has already seen great results, and according to data collected from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Transport and Communications and the Traffic Road Police, citizens opinions regarding the video, and participants opinions after the road safety campaigns, show that people have now realised the seriousness of the issue of road safety.
The video caused unexpected reactions and strong emotions in both adults and children. Studies have shown that after broadcasting the video, the majority of drivers on the road have worn seat belts, and every child in the car has been belted up. Indeed, cases of non-use of seatbelts and child restraints as well as offences of road rules, have been reduced by 38%.
The BKA team believes that only such a vivid and shocking example can help to realise the importance of the issues of road safety, and seeing something in which you can put yourself in place of the injured, people really begin to value their lives.
Congratulations to the BKA for their huge progress and continued efforts on this vital issue.