Moving around safely in the neighbourhood is one of the things that children should learn as soon as possible. To this end, the municipality of Ústí nad Labem organised a traffic safety programme for all the city’s pupils with a dual aim: to improve traffic safety as well as to help the take-up of energy-efficient forms of mobility (walking, cycling, public transport).
Background & Objectives
The safety and well-being of our children is an important universal goal, and Ústí nad Labem is no exception to this. Although there is no legal requirement for children’s traffic education in the Czech Republic, the local municipality, together with the municipal police and with the professional and financial support of the CIVITAS Archimedes project, designed and implemented a large-scale training programme for all fourth-grade primary school pupils in the city (at 10 years of age children can become independent road users). Additionally, some other school and pre-school children were involved in the programme.
Children learn basic traffic rules theoretically in the indoor classroom and then practically on the outside court at the premises of the Ústí nad Labem Municipal Police. In order to make traffic education available to everyone, the Municipality further acquired a mobile traffic court supplementing the permanent traffic court operated by the Municipal Police. The mobile court can be transported to other locations as required and thus allows traffic training in distant and less accessible areas.
The purpose of the training is to learn basic traffic rules and practice the correct behaviour in city traffic.>Children learn how to move safely on the streets and how to read traffic signs and understand traffic signals. As a result, safety of children moving in the city traffic is being improved while encouraging greater pedestrian and cycle transport take-up.
The traffic court received new equipment from CIVITAS Archimedes that makes learning easier and more fun. The classroom was equipped with traffic games and puzzles (card games, dominos and quizzes on traffic rules), a flipchart with traffic-themed magnets, colourful stationery, a carpet illustrated with roads, intersections and pedestrian crossings and new educational materials including comic-style study brochures and traffic tests. This all helped to open new ways of attractive and graphic learning of safe traffic behaviour. For outdoor practice, traffic signs, new bicycles with adequate cycling gear, child scooters, mobile traffic lights, pedestrian traffic cones and other traffic equipment were provided. Furthermore, each school that visits the traffic court is awarded with safety vests and other safety gadgets for their pupils.
The CIVITAS team provided the Municipal Police with evaluation tests in order to assess the progress of children from their first to last lesson on the traffic court. 441 pupils have participated in the tests so far. Successful children received a “cycling licence” presented by CIVITAS, whereas children with a low score repeat the training. Most of the children (36.7%) reached the excellent level of traffic knowledge and the average score was 26.7 points. Children with a result below 20 points had to repeat the course.