Over 55,000 children and 140,000 de adults from all across the country benefitted, free of charge, of road safety education, by way of the National Road Safety Program developed by United Way Romania and Kaufland Romania, in partnership with the Romanian Police and the Ministry of Education. The educational activities took place in 102 schools and 102 Kaufland stores, between May 29, 2017 and June 10, 2017.

Children had road safety classes and trainings from police officers and took part in interactive road safety activities run by the local law enforcement officers in 102 Kaufland stores from 80 towns and cities from all across Romania. Moreover, all throughout the program, a number of 140,000 adults received essential information regarding road safety.

Romania rates among the 4 countries with the highest number of casualties due to car incidents in the European Union, according to data collected in the National Strategy for Road Safety. The main causes of serious car accidents in Romania are pedestrians’ lack of discipline and high speed of cars – which caused around 41% of serious car accidents in the last 5 years. Data show that 66% of road accidents are caused by car drivers, 22.5% are caused by the pedestrians’ lack of road discipline, and 7.2% happen because of bicycle riders who disobeyed road traffic rules.

The National Road Safety Program developed by United Way was structured around 4 key elements: road safety education in schools, school road-patrol, non-formal education events in Kaufland parking lots, as well as an awareness and information media campaigns regarding risks of road-traffic accidents.

Road Safety Education in Schools

There were over 200 hours of activities regarding road safety activities in our project – held in 102 schools across the country – and they were based on reading materials developed by United Way and Kaufland Romania, with the support of the Ministry of Education and of the Romanian Police. The reading materials were handed in schools, free of charge, to students in 2nd to 8th grade, as well as in the Kaufland stores: leaflets with road safety rules, tests and practice exercises for both kids and adults. Schools were also provided with additional educational materials: infographic posters, simulations of pedestrian crossings and road lights, which could help students continue their road safety education activities.

School Road-safety Patrol

In every school involved in the project there were 6 students in senior years who organized a School Patrol, which coordinated, together with police officers, the traffic at pedestrian crossings near the school. Previous to this activity, all Patrol members participated in a road-safety training held by local Police Officers.

Road safety kids and signs were designed and provided for all School Patrol activities and the students were awarded prizes for their involvement.

Non-formal education events and activities in the Kaufland parking lots

On June 10th, Kaufland stores in the 80 towns and cities involved in the project simultaneously hosted events and activities of non-formal road-safety education for both kids and adults. The events designed for kids were mainly focused on rules on how to cross the street safely, on general rules for safe bike-riding, and on how to behave in traffic. Kids were awarded prizes for participating in these events run by Police Officers. There were great prizes such as bicycles, skateboards, kick-scooters, helmets, backpacks, traffic jackets and glow-in-the-dark key chains.

The adults present at the events had the opportunity to try out the incident-simulator, to take part in first-aid classes, and to win, by lottery draw, defensive driving classes provided by the Titi Aur Academy, as well as bicycles, kick-scooters and night-driving glasses.

Traffic-Risk Awareness and Information Media Campaign

This summer, the Road Safety Program designed by United Way will go on with a national media campaign on raising awareness regarding road traffic accidents. The campaign will be active between July and August of 2017 and will include TV and radio ads, as well as outdoors billboards and newspaper ads.