There are vast differences in the amount of road safety education given to children across Europe, particularly at secondary school level, according to a new report.
The research shows that while road safety education is provided to children in primary education all over Europe, it is not given to youngsters in secondary education in a fifth of the 36 European states and regions studied. Moreover, the research reveals that traffic safety and mobility education is only sparsely addressed in secondary education in most of the states and regions where it is given.
Most states and regions do not have a legal minimum requirement for the amount of road safety education that should be given at secondary school. Only half of states and regions that do offer it set educational goals for what should be taught. A lot of freedom is given to individual schools and teachers on what and how much is taught.
Traffic mortality steeply increases after 13 years of age, as children start to travel independently. For youngsters between the age of 15 and 19, road colissions are the main external cause of death. However, it is not known how effective current road safety education practices are at reducing deaths and injuries due to a lack of wide-ranging studies on the issue.
The report is being published today at a launch event in Madrid for a new platform on traffic education in Europe coordinated by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), the Flemish Foundation for Traffic Knowledge (VSV) and Fundación MAPFRE. The report has been written in collaboration with more than 30 road safety education experts from across Europe.
The LEARN! (Leveraging Education to Advance Road safety Now!) project aims to promote traffic safety and mobility education across Europe by enhancing the international community of road safety education experts and by establishing best practice guidelines for the design, testing, implementation and evaluation of road safety education activities and programmes.
The project has a website (www.trafficsafetyeducation.eu), with resources for road safety education experts and the possibility to sign-up for updates on the latest news, projects, best practice examples and material related to traffic safety and mobility education.
The report can be downloaded here.