- Safer Road Users through Education and Publicity
- Road Safety School Programmes
- Road Safety School Park
SAFER ROAD USERS THROUGH EDUCATION AND PUBLICITY
Road safety education and publicity is a cornerstone and medium which supports all programmes that bring about desired changes in road safety behaviour. The raising of awareness of road safety, the increasing of knowledge and improvement of skills necessary for all road users to behave safely in road traffic environment should primarily be done through road safety education. It is on this premise that the unit spends time and resources to equip road users with information and skills on how to avoid risks on the road at various levels.The primary aim of Road Safety Education and Publicity is to bring about the desired change in road user behaviour for the purpose of making roads safer.
ROAD SAFETY SCHOOL PROGRAMMES
Child pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users as they have a tendency to dash across roads when crossing. Those of school-going age are placed at a higher risk as a result of exposure to different traffic conditions as they move to and from schools unsupervised. The transport system and road environment is dangerous because children at that age tend to loiter or rather wander on the roads without taking time to understand the complexities of different traffic situations. They are also vulnerable as passengers because they have little or no control over the persons operating the vehicles they are in. It is against this background that the Education and Publicity Unit conducts school road safety education activities which are aimed at training and preparing children to become safety conscious road users through the following programmes:
- Road Safety Clubs
School- going children are at increased risk of being involved in road traffic accidents. It is loudly evident that children in Zambia do not have the skills to be in road traffic on their own as is indicated by their involvement in road crashes. As they grow and develop, they need to learn to be safe in different road environments as pedestrians, passengers on private vehicles, cyclists and public transport users.
The Road Transport and Safety Agency (R.T.S.A) is determined to address the challenge of road safety for school- going children with the seriousness it deserves. Teachers are trained as Road Safety club patrons/ matrons in order to play a pivotal role in teaching their children to be safe on the road as children have a tendency to learn best when they are constantly being reminded by people they respect. The children’s engagement in various road safety activities conducted in their schools enhances their survival skills. Road safety club patrons/ matrons are trained from various schools in all the provinces of Zambia.
Table 1. Distribution of Road Safety Club Patrons by Province
|SN||PROVINCE||No. CLUBS||No. PATRONS|
- School Traffic Warden Scheme
Child psychologists suggest that children, especially those under the age of 16 are exceptionally at high risk and are unsafe road users because they are unable to sense fear or danger. They have limited physical capabilities such as vision and the ability to judge the direction of sound, and that their movement in traffic tends to be spontaneous, unpredictable and adventurous. It is also argued that they do not have the ability to correlate speed and distance and compute the time available for crossing, as this calls for a high level of cognitive ability. It is against this background that the Agency has taken up the challenge of safe-guarding the children’s safety on the road by training School Traffic Wardens from schools that are located near busy roads.
The R.T.S.A. in collaboration with The Ministry of Education identifies schools that are located at busy points and prone to accidents. The Agency together with Zambia Police and Red Cross Society conduct the training. The Agency provides equipment and uniforms for the trained Wardens.
Criteria for Selection
– High traffic volume around the school.
– Complaints for the general public.
– Occurrence of accidents around the school.
– Need for emergency services.
Table 2. Distribution of Traffic Warden Schemes by Province
|SN||PROVINCE||No. SCHOOLS||No. WARDENS|
- Road Safety Education Curriculum Development
Teaching Road Safety skills to children can provide lifelong benefits to society, but should be seen as a long term intervention. Studies have shown that reliance on individuals or organizations visiting schools to give talks on road safety are not effective on their own. Children may remember the messages in short term but effective and sustainable development of positive attitudes towards road safety are best achieved by inclusion in the core curricular theme.
The Agency worked with the Curriculum Development Centre (CDC) and Ministry of Education staff and.
Road safety education was integrated into the social studies syllabus from grades 1-8 under the theme ‘Transport and Communication’. For Grade 9, road safety education was integrated in Religious Education under the theme ‘Authority and Leadership’. For grades 10-12, road safety education is treated as a cross-cutting issue.
The Road Safety Education input/coverage is as follows:
Grade 1 – 4 – Social Studies
Grade 5 – 7 – Social Studies
Grade 8 – 9 – Social Studies and Business Studies
Grade 10 – 12 – Civic Education, Religious Education and Geography.
The Road Safety Supplementary Books have been translated for the early grades as per directive by the Ministry of Education.
- Sensitization Compaigns
The Education and Publicity Unit has sensitization programmes in communities, at public events, traditional ceremonies and companies. Presentations are done at different fora to help disseminate road safety information.
World day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims
The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims was first celebrated nationally by RoadPeace in 1993. On the 26th day of October 2005, the United Nations General Assembly, declared the third Sunday of November in every year to be observed globally as the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.
The vision behind this declaration is to remember those who died or were injured as a result of road traffic accidents. This declaration is dedicated to the victims of road traffic crashes and is aimed at creating awareness on the carnage of road traffic accidents, offer prayers and to extend charity to the disabled victims of road traffic accidents.
It is a day to remember those who died or were injured from road crashes and the plight of their loved ones who must cope with the consequences of their deaths or injuries. It is also a Day on which we thank the emergency services and reflect on the tremendous burden and cost of this daily continuing disaster to families, communities and countries, and on ways to halt it.
Organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), which is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system, play a major role to promote the day.
It is also a day to pay visitation to those in hospital as well as other events necessary to educate road users towards curtailing the carnage of road traffic accident.
The Road Transport and Safety Agency being the government’s primary agency for coordinating road safety measures is in the forefront on the preparation for the commemoration of the Day of Remembrance in Zambia.
Road Safety Week
The Agency is committed in raising awareness about road safety in Zambia. As the festive season approaches, and as people set out on holidays and various outings, the RTSA usually appeals to road users to see to it that they are proactive and take an active role in ensuring the prevention of road traffic accidents.
The Agency, with other cooperating partners raise awareness about road safety and also engage in road safety activities to sensitize the communities on the need to promote safety during this period. The Agency lines up a number of activities targeting communities in an effort to engage them in road safety issues. A wide range of stakeholders committed to doing something to prevent and treat road carnage in Zambia are brought together during the Road Safety Week.
The Road Safety Week presents us all a great opportunity to strengthen road safety messages and reinforce efforts to confront the serious issues of traffic safety. It also gives us an opportunity to reflect on how we can become the solution through our actions, not the problem.
The Agency is constructing a Road Safety School Park for Children in Chongwe. The park will be used for practical lessons to teach school going children on road safety and to compliment the road safety school programmes that are already being rolled out in the schools.