Think Big, Start Small, Act Now
Last year, the Alliance trained 41 Advocates from across Africa and Asia to collect school zone data and use it to advocate for safer roads in their communities.
The catchphrase of the training was “think big, start small, act now.” Advocates were advised to start by assessing one school in their local community and advocate for changes that would keep students safer. These interventions might include signage to alert drivers that they were passing a school, speed humps and other low-cost infrastructure to reduce drivers’ speed, crossings to enable children to cross a road safely, enforcement to ensure that children are able to use sidewalks instead of having to walk on the road, and relocating vendors, obstructions, and other hazards. In Kenya, the assessment done during the Advocate training has led to a train stop being moved so that it does not block the road outside the school.
By starting with one school, Advocates could then leverage support to bring wider attention to the issues faced by children on their school journeys. So far, 20 schools have been assessed with 21 more scheduled.
In two countries, the project has already gained momentum. From the initial school assessment, Alliance Advocates have gained citywide commitment to improve all schools in the area:
- In Namibia, the Private Sector Road Safety Forum (PSRSF)’s school zone assessment has led to a written commitment obtained from the City of Windhoek that will see all speed limit signage at schools changed from the current 40 kilometers per hour to 30 kilometers per hour.
- • In Abuja, Nigeria, at Kwapda’as Road Safety Demand Trust Fund (KRSD)’s event to present their school data results, the Federal Capital Territory Minister stated that safety measures, including zebra crossings and road signs, would be implemented around schools in the capital region. This, he said, would help to make the city a model for road safety in the country.