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EASST launches new road safety education short-course.

8 May 2019

EASST has launched a new road safety education short-course to give teachers the capacity and resources they need to lead effective road safety education in schools and communities globally.

This year’s UN Global Road Safety Week focuses on the role of leadership in road safety. Road safety leadership comes in many forms. This includes teaching children how to keep themselves safe on the road. EASST (the Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport) are therefore marking this week by celebrating the vital role that teachers and education providers have to play by launching a free online guide on how to use the EASST Road Safety Education Pack. A safe and healthy journey to and from school is part of every child’s right to receive an education, breathe clean air and travel safely. As partners of the Child Health Initiative, EASST want to give teachers the capacity and resources they need to deliver effective road safety lessons and help children get the start in life that they deserve.

EASST focuses its activities in 14 countries across Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia and South-East Europe to save lives and prevent injuries by making road travel safer, greener and more sustainable for future generations. Through its ten years of operation EASST has found that the road safety educational materials typically used in the region focus largely on teaching children ‘the rules of the road’ i.e. speed limits, recognising street signs, and knowing the law. In almost every country, the materials produced are the same whether the child is 5 or 15 years old, and rely on memorisation rather than engagement with the issues. In response, in 2014 EASST developed their Road Safety Education Pack as a means to introduce child-centred and locally relevant teaching materials that both children and teachers can enjoy.

The EASST Road Safety Education Pack is a free, global teaching resource that provides stimulating and engaging activities to introduce road safety messages and behaviours to kids. The pack has been developed in co-operation with EASST partners as well as UK and international road safety experts, including the UK Government’s Think! Campaign, the charity Brake, and YOURS (Youth for Road Safety). It has been specifically tailored to reflect the risks, challenges, and conditions in low and middle-income countries in an age-appropriate way.

The topics in each section of the pack vary according to age group, but they all relate to the key principles of road safety. It uses exercises and activities that are fun and engaging, taking children on a journey from being a young toddler crossing the road holding their mother’s hand, right through to being an independent young adult travelling alone or with friends.

EASST partners have tailored the pack for use in their countries to transform road safety education: translating it into local languages and using local names and idiom so it looks and feels like a locally-produced resource. The pack is currently available in 10 languages (not only from the EASST region), and is being translated into others. It has been used to teach over 15,000 children the basic skills of road safety as well as training teachers, police officers, parents, and others to deliver effective and relevant road safety education year after year.

Now, to help with this process EASST has developed an online short-course to guide teachers and other education providers on how they can best use the pack to bring vital road safety learning to even more children globally. The course includes seven short videos in English with Russian, French and Spanish subtitles on each aspect of the pack, including an example of the pack being used in a real-life setting to train pre-school children in Minsk, Belarus. The course is available via the EASST Academy online road safety training platform meaning it is accessible 24/7 in every world region. Here the pack can also be downloaded in any of the 10 languages it is currently available in.

Children’s road safety education is essential as part of an overall strategy for reducing road risk. Keeping safe on the road is a vital life skill. Children are also able to take road safety lessons home to parents and influence their decisions and family habits to keep everyone safe.

To find out more or sign up to the free course visit EASST Academy: How to use the EASST Road Safety Education Pack.

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