Safer routes to school for Boskovice?We hand over key traffic study to the city

04. 03. 2024
Author: Nela Kadlečíková

Safer routes to school for Boskovice?We hand over key traffic study to the city

We are successfully completing the pilot project Safe to Schools in Boskovice. The pilot project resulted in a traffic study that proposes solutions for better safety of children on their way to school.

Child safety is a topic of concern to parents and educators across the Czech Republic. That's why we approached 450 South Moravian schools with a questionnaire about child safety on the roads. The results show that 150 schools are actively addressing the poor traffic situation.

"We were intrigued by the Safe Routes to School programme, so we decided to build on it and extend it to South Moravia. We did this in cooperation with the organisation Walking through the City, which helped us methodically and professionally to implement the programme," says Patrik Reichl, director of JINAG.

For the pilot testing of this project we chose the Boskovice Kindergarten, Primary School and Practical School. "We are very happy to be involved in the Safe Schools programme in the South Moravian Region. Since we educate pupils with special educational needs, our primary task is to ensure that pupils have a safe journey to and from school," says the school's headmistress Jana Bousková.

The aim of the project in Boskovice was not only to find an effective solution, but also to spread awareness and involve all stakeholders. Schoolchildren, parents, school and town representatives, traffic experts and the police all had a common goal: to ensure that children have safe and comfortable journeys to school. In the first step, the children drew on a map the routes they regularly take to school and marked the places where they felt unsafe.  This was followed by traffic monitoring, during which the children, together with teachers and traffic engineers, recorded traffic violations and other problematic phenomena.

"The pupils themselves were involved in the project and searched for dangerous and problematic locations. Not only did this project raise pupils' awareness of correct behaviour in various challenging traffic situations, but pupils also used their own experience and tried to put it into practice. The pupils and the whole teaching staff expect that at least some of the proposed variants of the traffic study will be fulfilled," says Ivana Staffová, deputy headmistress of the Boskovice school.

Teachers Aleš Vacula and Monika Letfusová also evaluate the pilot project. It showed pupils dangerous places on the roads when they were walking to school. It motivated them to work on the project to improve the situation around the school for their safety. The events associated with the project were fun and educational for the pupils."

The collected data helped to create a traffic study and then to propose specific measures. Measures that can be implemented within one year include, for example, speed reduction or the construction of K+R parking spaces. The long-term vision includes intersection improvements, crosswalks and overall traffic calming.

"I am very happy that we were part of the pilot project. In cooperation with my colleagues, I will strive to ensure that our efforts do not remain only on paper, but that our ideas and suggestions are translated into reality," said Deputy Mayor Lukáš Holík.

"The successful pilot project Safe to Schools in Boskovice is an inspiring example for other towns and municipalities. It shows that with a proactive approach, it is possible to achieve lasting improvements in the safety and comfort of children on their way to school. It also increases the interest of children and parents in the public space around the school, promotes children's independence in traffic and also teaches them to perceive traffic risks and behave responsibly," concludes Jan Tichý, Mobility Domain Specialist.

Other schools, towns or municipalities that want to support a safe and sustainable lifestyle for children can therefore join the Safe to School programme in the South Moravian Region. The JINAG agency has therefore created a guide to help interested parties through the whole process. This guide is available here.

Průvodce programem Bezpečně do škol v JMK