Increasing drivers’ awareness of road traffic risks around schools by school students empowered to speak up about road safety issues. VOCIES OF YOUTH (in this story of success, young people address a reader on behalf of themselves)
Team: Amend Road Safety Ghana
Kids Road Safety Panel (KRSP) is a program that aims to increase drivers’ awareness of road traffic risks around schools by allowing them to be educated by school children empowered to speak up about road safety issues in their communities.
We are passionate about kids being safe on their way to school as studies done by the World Health Organization have shown that they are amongst the most vulnerable in Africa because they walk to school,without any supervision, from a very young age. While educating kids is important, the drivers driving around the schools also need to be aware of the dangers their behaviour has on the childrens’ lives. This project is therefore a way to kill two birds with one stone.
In 5 years we want to replicate this project in all the major cities of Ghana, training more pupils and creating more awareness in the country. Indirectly, we’re hoping that this will contribute to a drop of the number of road crashes involving kids in Accra, Ghana.
Description of the intervention
In Ghana studies have proven that children are at risk when they walk to school. Drivers on the other hand do not have the appropriate knowledge and training needed to drive safely on the roads therefore endangering the lives of pedestrians, kids being the most vulnerable in this category. Our program aims at educating and empowering kids to know and speak up about road safety issues and setting them up to be able to educate adults themselves. During the project drivers will be brought to the kids panel to answer a few questions and receive education about road safety risks children face. By doing this we are contributing to making our communities safer for specifically the kids but indirectly for the whole community as well.
– We’ve educated 1,022 school children of two schools in Greater Accra on road safety issues
– We’ve trained (a deeper training) 20 school children of two schools in Greater Accra on speaking up on road safety issues
– We’ve educated 43 drivers on road safety risks around school zones
– We’ve conducted a media campaign on the importance of road safety and this specific project that has reached so far 39,937 people
Generally people were satisfied and happy about this innovative and fun project, especially the kids:
– The General Secretary, GRTCC, Mr Emmanuel Ohene Yeboah, said drivers have a responsibility “to keep our roads safe at all times so this exercise is a very interesting and creative way to remind us of our responsibilities”.
– The headmistress of Community 8 Number 3 Basic School, Ms Bernice Sefakor Doviah said the exercise would save lives as it had imparted traffic rules to the pupils and explained the role of drivers to help them exercise cautiousness when using the road.
This project is an interesting and cost effective way to start changing mindsets and behaviours. We believe that if this project is scaled up and more regular, it will definitely positively impact the lives of our citizens.
The plan is to scale this up to more schools in Accra and Tema and in more cities of Ghana, especially Kumasi Takoradi and Tamale where road crashes are increasing.