One of the core functions of the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) is to save and protect lives by conducting road safety awareness campaigns through education and publicity. It is against this background that the Agency uses education and publicity in order to implement a more sustainable and planned campaign to reach out to stakeholders and all road users.
Road Safety education and publicity is a cornerstone and medium which supports all programmes that bring about desired change in road safety behaviour. Therefore, 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 EDUCATION PROGRAMMES BY THE EDUCATION AND PUBLICITY UNIT
PUBLIC AWARENESS PROGRAMMES
The Unit conducts robust public awareness programmes in communities, work places, public events, bus stations, taxi ranks, markets and shopping malls among others. The information is disseminating through presentations, talks, information kiosks and road shows among others.
ROAD SAFETY SCHOOL PROGRAMMES
The transport system and road environment is dangerous for children who may be young physically and not strong with their vulnerability being different across age ranges. Children are poor at multi – tasking and may make poor judgement and decision on distance and crossing points. 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 and as passengers.
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 road safety conscious road users through the following interventions:
Incorporation of Road Safety in the Mainstream School Curriculum
In order to reduce the number of accidents among school- going children, the Agency in collaboration with the Ministry of General Education (MoGE) through the Curriculum Development Centre (CDC) incorporated road safety education in the Zambian School Curriculum from Early Childhood Education (3 to 4 years) to Grade 12. Road safety topics are taught in different subjects as outlined in the curriculum since 2014.
Road Safety Supplementary Books were developed for entry grades, that is, Early Education, Grades 1, 5, 8 and 10 and the subsequent levels, that is Grade 2, 6, 9 and 11. The lower primary levels that were developed were translated into Zambia’s seven (7) major local languages.
Road Safety School Park
The Unit conducts theory and practical lessons for learners at the Road Safety School Park in Silverest, Chongwe from Monday to Friday between 09: 00 hours and 16:00 hours on appointment and the lessons are free. The facility is open to children from community schools, public schools, private schools, church groupings and any organization dealing with children. The Road Safety School Park was constructed in order to raise awareness of traffic safety among children. This is done with a view to enable children to gain hands – on experience of using the road.
Road Safety School Clubs
The Unit facilitates for the establishment of Road Safety Clubs in schools in both private, public and community schools. The Clubs are spearheaded by teachers who are trained by the Agency as Road Safety Club Patrons.
The club patrons recruit pupils as members, and road safety information is taught to these members. Topics taught include pedestrian safety, cycling safety, passenger safety and general road safety among others. The clubs undertake road safety activities within the schools and communities such as performances and presentations. The Agency has continued to establish more Road Safety Clubs in schools countrywide and provide them with road safety education literature.
School Traffic Warden Scheme
The School Traffic Warden Scheme is a programme designed to train school personnel (support staff) to assist school – going children cross the roads where hazardous or congested conditions exist as they walk to and from school.
The Agency in collaboration with the community identifies schools that are located at busy points and prone to accidents. The Agency works in partnership with the Zambia Police Service and the Zambia Red Cross Society to conduct the training of traffic wardens. The Agency provides equipment and uniforms for the trained traffic wardens.
Sensitizations at Schools
The Unit conducts road safety talks for pupils and teachers in schools countrywide. This is to serve as a reminder on how to use the road safely.
The sensitisations are conducted at assembly, Careers Day, Sports Day, Road Safety Club meetings during routine visits.
The Agency encourages support and participation in road safety matters by working with other institutions and organizations. This is in order to enhance stakeholder participation in road safety. The Agency also makes use of already existing structures like Faith Based Organizations and Non – governmental organizations to help in the dissemination of road safety information.
WORKPLACE ORIENTATION IN INSTITUTIONS/ORGANISATIONS
The Unit undertakes road safety training of staff at various institutions and organizations. The aim is to equip the staff with lifesaving skills and general Road Safety. The Agency also conducts basic defensive driving training for companies and institutions with a huge fleet.
The Unit undertakes various media activities in order to help develop good road safety behaviour and change road users’ attitudes towards road safety. The following road safety activities are conducted:
- Production and airing of radio safety adverts and dramas in English and the seven (7) major local languages
- Road safety programmes.
- Production of road safety television adverts and dramas
- Newspaper articles on road safety
- Flighting road safety messages on billboards
DEVELOP, TRANSLATE AND DISTRIBUTE IEC MATERIALS
In order to promote access to road safety education information for all road users, the Unit facilitates for the development, translation and distribution of Road Safety publications. This includes the following:
- Highway Code Booklets
- Road Safety Supplementary books
- Road Safety Manuals for schools
- Road Safety Activity, Comic and Workbooks
Posters, Brochures, RTSA Emergency number cards and stickers