According to the Hellenic Statistical Authority, in 2014 1 in every 2 children injured on the roads in Greece were pedestrians, walking without adult supervision. With 1 in 3 failing to use designated pedestrian crossings. For those injured in cars, 70 per cent were not using any child restraints and of the 10 per cent of children who were injured as cyclists, almost none wore a helmet.
With our EASST partners, Make Roads Safe Hellas, we are working to improve these statistics by providing relevant, tailor-made road safety education to schools and pre-schools in Chaina, Crete. Since 2015 MRSH has trained over 1000 children to keep safe on the roads using the EASST Road Safety Education Pack.
Translated into Greek, the Pack provides age-appropriate resources for teachers to introduce children and young people to basic road safety principles through a selection of simple, fun, educational activities such as painting, storytelling and interactive games. A particular favourite amongst pre-school children is the pedestrian crossing carpet, where they can practice what they have learned. Each child is given a specific role, holding up cards showing different vehicles or dressing up as traffic wardens and acting as pedestrians to practice how to Stop, Look and Listen when crossing the road. For the older children, a magnetic traffic board is used with road safety figures being misplaced (i.e. a motorcycle being parked on the pavement). The children are asked to find the mistakes and correct them.These sessions are accompanied by group discussions where the children are encouraged to talk about how they travel to and from school and identify ways in which their route can be made safer.
Through the Pack, road safety education in Chania is being transformed. Endorsed by both the Municipality of Chania and the Ministry of Education, the Education Pack was voted by teachers as the number 1 initiative introduced in schools in 2016. What’s more, MRSH are this year reaching many more children with demands for training coming directly from schools that have been informed by others of the quality of the material and training. As such, MRSH is even starting to expand to schools outside of the Chania city district.
“With the collaboration of the Municipality of Chania, and the Ministry of Education’s approval of the Pack, the number of visits requested from schools have been more than expected. This demand and the appreciation from teachers has really helped in making children believe in the importance of road safety.” Anna Voulgaridou, MRSH