Children in particular are a vulnerable group in road traffic and need to learn how to act safely. In practice the surroundings of many primary schools were not sufficiently safe and recognisable for road users. Road safety of schoolchildren is a shared responsibility of the city, the schools, the children and their parents at all of Utrecht’s 104 primary schools. So far, road traffic education had been given low priority because school- curriculum were already chock-a-block with other important matters. The Utrecht Road Safety Label offers schools the opportunity to set up and execute a structural traffic education plan at their own pace, to raise awareness of road safety by education and to improve road safety around schools.
The measure ‘Road Safety Label’ had the objectives of increasing road safety in primary school areas, reducing the number of car trips and increasing of the number of walking-trips and trips by bicycle to primary schools. The objective was to create recognisable, safe school surroundings and increase the satisfaction with road safety in primary school areas among children, their parents and teachers. To stimulate high quality traffic education at primary schools and to guarantee this education a quality label for primary schools was developed. This Road Safety Label shows that a school has made an effort to achieve traffic education and road safety around the school. Nine out of the 12 provinces in the Netherlands work with this kind of quality label. In Utrecht the Province of Utrecht was responsible for the Utrecht Road Safety Label (URSL).To determine whether a school is qualified for the URSL a list of criteria is being used. Schools need to embrace several key elements, such as: traffic safety education, the participation of parents and commitment to the establishment of a safe environment. A Road Safety Label-consultant indicates which criteria need the school's attention for improvement. The school appoints a road safety coordinator who is in charge of the project, and - if necessary- supports the implementation. If the school fulfils all criteria, it will be awarded the Road Safety Label. This consultant makes plans for maintaining the label and there will be checks every two years. Even though the measure is primarily concerned with road safety, it will also positively affect environmental issues.