According to the UK's latest census, an approximate 80% of serious child road accidents take place near school gates. The largest at-risk group is composed of 12 to 15-year-olds while the most dangerous times of the day are 8am and 3pm which coincides with pupils arriving and leaving their schools. In Egypt the exact figure may differ, however, the overall trend it the same.
The Safe School Zone project aims at leading visible, cost-efficient and effective interventions to make areas around schools in Egypt safer in a sustainable, adaptive way that considers the specificity of each area.
Upon selection of designated schools based on a set of selection criteria, this project will carry on its activities in the following steps:
A) Identifying traffic and safety issues around the school and gather all relevant information this include:
- Damaged infrastructure (e.g.: faded road markings for cars and pedestrians, missing or damaged road signs, etc.)
- Traffic or safety issues (e.g.: sidewalk parking, haphazard road crossing, etc.)
- Driving offences (e.g.: speeding vehicles, inconsiderate driving manoeuvres, etc.) or issues related to school transportation or buses.
B) Planning and implementing solutions and interventions:
The most appropriate solution for a particular school may involve a combination of engineering, education, enforcement and encouragement measures
- Engineering – the implementation of treatments such as appropriate road markings, islands, signage, bus stops, and other measures.
- Education – this includes in school road safety education, mobilization of social workers in schools, education of bus drivers and empowerment of school staff to play an active role in ensuring safety around school areas.
- Enforcement – this could involve “school crossing patrols” and manifestations by older students, social workers or volunteers, supplying them with the needed equipments and training.
- Encouragement – these include the school assessment and accreditation of school buses and their drivers as well as providing incentives for children and school staff for positive safety behaviors.
3) Evaluation, documentation and expansion:
This includes evaluation of the intervention, its contribution to changed behaviors and documentation (data collection, visual material, testimonials and field research).