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Drive Safely Campaign

Usti nad Labem

The city of Ústí nad Labem implemented the Drive Safely Campaign for its residents. The municipality produced promotional materials and educational brochures to support the activities. The campaign was designed in various forms to reach as many people in the city as possible. Ústí nad Labem organised promotional activities to raise awareness about causes and consequences of traffic accidents through public events, workshops, traffic training for children, educational materials and promotion in local media.

Implementing sustainable mobility

In a long term, with the growing rate of motorisation, number of traffic accidents in the city and their consequences continuoulsy grow. It is therefore necessary to deal with transport safety, from road safety deficits to behaviour issues of drivers, in order to reduce the number of killed and injured people in road accidents. This measure is focused on behaviour of drivers and pedestrians as an instrument of preventive traffic education and increasing awareness on road safety issues.

Prior to campaign implementation, background data were collected from other successful road safety campaigns in the Czech Republic and abroad, from the CIVITAS ARCHIMEDES research tasks 11.5.3 Safety Audit and 11.5.4 Traffic Speed Reduction, and experience from the task 5.11 Traffic Speed Reduction Publicity Campaign.

Promotion forms were chosen to appeal to the widest target audience of various ages. Particular focus was placed on vulnerable road users, such as children travelling to schools and elderly people in the city.

How did the measure progress?

There were public events organised in the city centre to increase awareness about road safety issues. This involved a public event focused on children, which was aimed at promoting safety of trips to/from schools. The programme of the event included various activities for children and their parents, including competitions on traffic behaviour, knowledge quizzes, traffic training on a mobile traffic court operated by the Municipal Police, distribution of safety accessories from CIVITAS, etc.

The CIVITAS team further participated on the annual Ústí nad Labem half-marathon. During this popular international event, information about the campaign activities was presented to the wide public, along with promotional presents, brochures and education leaflets.

The campaign laid focus on traffic education for children. During various activities organised within the Drive Safely Campaign, children in Ústí nad Labem participated in knowledge tests consisting of 23 questions on basic traffic rules. Children, who failed in the test, were asked to participate in the traffic court education with CIVITAS presents awarded to successful students. The traffic court in the city operated by Municipal Police serves for school and pre-school children in Usti nad Labem to learn basic traffic rules theoretically in the indoor classroom and practically at the outside court. Within the campaign, this traffic court received new equipment that makes learning easier and more fun. The classroom was equipped with traffic games and puzzles (card games, dominos and quizzes on traffic rules), flipchart with traffic-themed magnets, colourful stationery, carpet with roads, intersections and pedestrian crossings, new educational materials include comics-style studying brochures and traffic tests, etc. This opens new ways of more attractive and graphic learning of safe traffic behaviour. For outdoor practice, wooden traffic signs and several new bicycles with adequate cycling gear were provided. Furthermore, each school that visits the traffic court is awarded safety vests and other safety gadgets for pupils. The school also receives safety stop disks for safe crossing of streets.

Furthermore, educational leaflets were produced in entertaining graphical format. The leaflets were designed separately for individual road user groups – pedestrians, drivers and cyclists. They described basic traffic safety rules for each target group through pictures and rhyming slogans to be attractive and simple to remember.

Within the road safety campaign, the city of Ústí nad Labem organised several workshops focused on safe traffic behaviour of young/potential drivers on the one hand, and elderly people on the other. The workshops included presentations, discussions on road safety issues and competitions with presents for young students. Safety gadgets were distributed also to elderly people. Educational materials were informing about safety issues. Two short TV spots summarising the workshops were produced. These workshops were organised at the local University, High School, at retirement homes and at the Senior Club of Ústí nad Labem during November 2011.

To support its activities, the CIVITAS team participated at the international conference on Safe Transport in Prague, promoted campaign events through local media, including newspaper, radio, local TV and the Facebook page.

What were the outcomes of the measure?

Currently, it is quite difficult to organize a public campaign in order to reach a wide public audience. Residents in the city are overwhelmed by information presented to them in many different ways and frequently ignore even useful information. Therefore, it was demanding to organise an original and effective public campaign, which would be well accepted by local residents.

Within the Drive Safely Campaign in Ústí nad Labem, activities were primarily focused on short-term events and actions, which can be repeated and which have bigger impact on local people. All campaign activities were supported by distribution of safety gadgets and attractive educational materials, and promoted via various media operating in the city. The goal of these activities was to draw attention to issues of safe driving in the city and road safety in general. The campaign was well received by city residents and should be periodically repeated.

As a long term promotional activity, educational brochures on road safety targeted at various road users were designed and produced and has been distributed to city residents. Also, the website dedicated to road safety in Ústí nad Labem (www.bezpecnepousti.cz) is continuously operated.

Furthermore, traffic education of children, including safe behaviour on roads and basic traffic rules, is currently realised, among others, for all 4th grade children in Ústí nad Labem. This campaign enabled more efficient and attractive traffic education of children, which is one of the long term goals of the city in order to improve road safety and reduce traffic accidents and their consequences.

The campaign involved relatively many participants, which was considered as a success. Data from participants will be used for measure evaluation (indicators of acceptance and awareness level). The measure was evaluated together with the measure 49 - Road safety measures in Ústí nad Labem.

The city of Ústí nad Labem plans to organise similar events in the future, based on experience and best practise from CIVITAS campaigns.

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