‘Safe to school – safe to home’ pilot intervention

 Observation and monitoring the road traffic and road users’ behavior around the school

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 In October 2014, at the sub-regional workshop on the „Road safety fundamentals and interventions”, organized by the ACM, GRSP and EASST, a working group was established in the Republic of Moldova, which subsequently developed an action plan for the pilot intervention named ‘Safe to school – safe to home’. Details:http://goo.gl/VaumQh

With the aim to achieve the objectives of the ‘Safe to school – safe to home’ pilot intervention at the chosen school – ‘Universul’ from Chisinau, the Automobile Club of Moldova with the assistance of the National Patrol Inspectorate and Informational Technologies Department of Police carried out 3 day observation to monitor the road traffic around the school. The National Patroling Inspectorate evaluated and noted in early morning (7.30-8.30) and at afternoon (12.00-13.30) the road users’ behavior and road infrastructure, taking into account pupils and pedestrians, walking to/from the school, parents’ behavior transporting their children to and to/from school, drivers’ speed near the school, parking places, cyclists, etc.

The results of monitoring activities:

  1. Around the school are driving about 250 vehicles/per hour, including large vehicles (trucks, cargo vans). The average speed through the school area is:
    a)In the morning - between 46 km/h and 53 km/h;
    b) In the afternoon - 56km/h;
  2. Drivers’ behavior near the school:
    a) respected the priority of pedestrians according to pedestrians crossings marking and signs –  25 % cases;
    b) neglected the priority of pedestrians to cross the road – 75 %  of cases;
    c) reduced speed – 23 % of drivers;
    d) driving with high speed – 77 % of drivers (the highest speed was 85km/h)
  3. How do children get to school (total pupils at school – 705):
    a) as passengers – about 50 % of  pupils
  4. as pedestrians – about 50 % of pupils
    c) as cyclists – 0 %
  5. Road safety for pupils to/from school as passengers:
    a) child Restraint System use – 0 cases;
    b) seat belt use – 0 cases;
    c) children transported on the front seat – 40% of cases
    d) children transported on the back seat  - 60% of cases
  6. Pedestrians’ behavior:
    a) Crossing the road near the school  –  between 45 pedestrians/ per hour (average);
    b) Pedestrians crossing the road safely:   average 13 pedestrians/ per hour - only 28 % ( including children and their parents);

School area traffic violations by drivers:

  • - wrong-way driving – 20 cases (8% of cars flow per hour);
    -  stop and parking on the pedestrian crossing – 40 cases (16% of cars flow per hour);
    - dangerous driving maneuvers – 1 case;
    -  children getting out from the car in dangerous/forbidden places – 9 cases.

Worth to mention that pedestrians who walk in this area, use to cross the street in forbidden places, not intended for pedestrians, and avoid to using the pedestrian crossing (zebra). They cross the street diagonally, walking from the direction of Petrol Station which is located on the opposite side of the school.

During the dropping off the children in the morning near the school, the most of parents exposed the children to a huge risk. They tolerated the descent trough the door which opened to the direction of cars flow. Similarly, around the school is not arranged any station for dropping off the pupils from maxi taxi, they stop in any places and in rush hours the road traffic the road safety is totally neglected.

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Also it was a meeting between the representatives of the ACM, REPEMOL, National Patrolling Inspectorate, the Municipal Department of Transportation of Chisinau and the director of ‘Universul’ Lyceum, in order to discuss the existing road traffic issues for the school and its pupils. At the meeting the necessary measures and provision with safety systems in the school area were discussed (ex: road signs, marking, etc.).

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 The data concerning observation and monitoring carried out before, were presented at the meeting to the teachers to work together on road safety improvement and motivate them to advocate road safety in their school and community.

(c) www.saferoads.md