#16 – Follow-up to ensure that traffic safety and mobility education is taught
National and local authorities should follow-up with schools to ensure that traffic safety and mobility education is being taught and that such education achieves the goals set out for it.
Authorities should ensure that an appropriate framework for follow-up is in place, for example by including traffic safety and mobility education in the school’s accreditation audit. Authorities should also consider supporting measures if schools are found to not teach traffic safety and mobility education or when the quality of the education does not allow for the defined objectives to be achieved. Authorities could also implement a reward system, in which role model schools are rewarded.
It should be underlined that this principle has a long-term aim, which moreover might not be easily implemented or achieved. It is nevertheless an aim that should be pursued by all relevant actors.
BEST PRACTICE EXAMPLES
Flanders – School Inspection Visits to Ensure that Traffic Safety and Mobility Education is Taught
In Flanders, the compulsory regular school inspections carried out by the Department of Education include the inspection of the learning areas related to the final attainment levels (official learning goals). Since traffic safety and mobility education is part of the final attainment levels, schools can be inspected on this topic.
Schools that fail to meet the minimum requirements for one or more learning areas during an inspection will receive a negative report with proposals for improvement. If a school fails repeatedly, the Department of Education can impose sanctions.
Czech Republic – In-Depth Traffic Education Survey
The Czech School Inspectorate in cooperation with Road Safety Department of the Ministry of Transport prepared a survey about traffic education in primary schools in the school year 2018/2019. The survey is unique in its detail, as usually more general surveys are conducted where traffic education is only a part. This time however, the whole survey was about traffic education. Pupils, teachers and school directors were involved.
The results showed that the general situation could be better and some shortcomings were identified in more than a third of the schools. Some topics defined in the framework education program were found lacking in practice and the effectiveness of traffic education was evaluated only in half of the schools.
Schools with the best results used traffic playgrounds, project activities, cycle tourism and cycling competitions and a larger number of educational materials. More often they also had a coordinator for traffic education. Pupils of these schools had better results in knowledge tests.
Almost all schools (95 %) collaborated in traffic education with other institutions (mostly with the traffic police and regional road safety coordinators).
The report on the survey contains recommendations for schools, school management and for the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. The most important ones are about better education of older pupils (12-15 years), inclusion of traffic education into more school subjects, and preparing materials for education of teachers.
Denmark – The Annual Municipalities’ Traffic Test
Every year, the Danish Road Safety Council conducts the Municipalities’ Traffic Test, which focuses on what the municipalities in Denmark do to ensure safe traffic for children and young people. The main focus of the test is on the municipalities’ efforts in schools (grades 0-10, 6-16 year olds). The test is answered annually by almost all municipalities in Denmark (min. 95%) and thus gives a good overview of what the municipalities do.
Every year, a map of Denmark and an overview are drawn up showing the municipalities’ efforts. The gold municipalities are the ones who received the most points and do the most for children and young people’s road safety. Green municipalities are the ones who do the second most, followed by yellow and red municipalities.
The test consists of 15 questions. Among other things, whether the municipalities have a road safety plan with targets that are being followed up. In addition, the test includes questions about whether their schools conduct a pedestrian test (grade 0 or 1), a bicycle test (grade 6) and have visits by LIVE ambassadors for the 14-16-year-old students. The latter question is answered through data available by the Danish Road Safety Council.
All municipalities are subsequently sent letters showing their results and recommendations on what each municipality can do to get even more points in the following year’s test. The letters are sent to the Danish Road Safety Council’s contact person in the municipality and to the directors of the municipalities’ School Administration and Technology Administration. In addition, press work is being done with a special focus on regional and local media.
The Municipalities’ Traffic Test is thus used both as a way in which the municipalities can measure their efforts in this area and as a nudging tool to ensure more traffic education is conducted in the schools. The test has meant that traffic safety education receives more attention by the municipalities, that there is a greater degree of sharing best practice across the municipalities, and that local networks have been established. All for the benefit of traffic education in schools.
The map is available on the website of the Danish Road Safety Council.
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