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07/05/2012
SAFETY AND NEW TECHNOLOGIES

GOODYEAR TEACHES ROAD SAFETY FOR THE YOUNG
The languages that are effective when talking to young people about road safety and the method that will create a sense of responsibility that goes beyond the classroom are among the subjects of the round table “Safety and new technologies: modern teaching for road safety education”

Paolo Castiglia

IF YOUNGSTERS learn at an early age to observe the laws of the road for their own protection and that of others, they will become responsible drivers”. With this belief, Goodyear presented the results of the educational campaign “Safe together: Goodyear for road safety education” in collaboration with the police force and with the support of the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry for Youth, which involved over 12,000 students.
But what are the languages that are effective when talking to young people about road safety? What is the method that will create a sense of responsibility that goes beyond the classroom? Lastly, what model will guarantee sustainable road safety teaching over time? This was discussed at the round table “Safety and new technologies: modern teaching for road safety education” held at the Hotel Boscolo Exedra, Rome, during which Goodyear Dunlop presented the results of the 2011/2012 school project in collaboration with the police force and with the support of the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry for Youth.
Taking part in the meeting were Luca Crepaccioli, chairman and managing director of Goodyear Dunlop Italy and Greece, Elisabetta Mancini, assistant chief of police, Anna Maria Giannini, director of the Psychology of Legality and Safety Observatory at La Sapienza University, Rome, Antonio Affinita, MD of Moige, Paolo Ardizzone, associate professor of general didactics at the Faculty of Education Sciences, Università Cattolica, Milan, and Tiziano Fazzi, MD of Civicamente. Of fundamental interest were the talks and contributions by Adriana Bizzarri, national coordinator of Scuola di Cittadinanza Attiva, and Marco Laura Ravazzoni, head of external relations at CTS.
The round table provided the occasion for discussing the effectiveness of the teaching methods adopted in the light of the results of the Goodyear project which, from November 2011 to March 2012, involved secondary school classes IV and V of 80 schools, 595 classes and 12,218 students in three Italian regions: Lombardy, Lazio and Puglia.
We are extremely proud and satisfied with the success of the school project” said Luca Crepaccioli, chairman and managing director of Goodyear Dunlop Italia. “Our initiative responds to a real need to teach young people. A survey carried out by the teachers taking part in the project showed how popular it was and this encourages us to extend this initiative to an even greater number of students in the coming years, which will fulfil one of the main principles of our corporate accountability: road safety. We hope that the success of this initiative will encourage more schools and institutes to support teachers in spreading the culture of road safety in class.”
Goodyear’s “Safe together” teaching initiative involved one lesson in class with the multimedia kit Open Mind, an effective teaching method endorsed by the team headed by Paolo Ardizzone, associate professor of didactics, education technologies and media education at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan. The key moments of the meeting were: a pre-test, a double interview, investigation, role playing and an assessment quiz. Guest professors were mainly police officers (79% of the educational talks were given by Polstrada officers and the remainder by expert teachers) who recently took part in special  training that actively involved students in the interactive teaching kit Open Mind, the aim of which is to offer an alternative to traditional lessons.
"The traffic police’s commitment to dialoguing with young people on the subject of prevention and safety is a priority that is increasing in importance for us”  said Elisabetta Mancini, assistant chief of police.”This is why we are enthusiastic about the fact that the lessons with the police were even more popular with students than those with external teachers. The officers’ presence in the classroom had greater impact: we are proud that the students recognized that the uniform, the authority of the police force and, above all, the experience in the field represented useful added value when dealing with road safety”.
By means of a pre-test, useful data were collected about theoretical knowledge of the highway code (speed limits, mini cars, permitted alcohol levels and maintenance obligations) and behaviour: safety belts, cell phone use, the consumption of alcohol, vehicle maintenance. The majority of the students knew the speed limits (73% for cars and 64% for scooters), but a quarter gave the wrong answers. The challenging and risk-taking attitudes typical of youngsters have an enormous ally in ignorance about regulations. As to the use of safety belts, 94% of the students knew the regulation. The information and awareness-raising actions on safety belts was shown to have been effective compared with less encouraging data on topics that were not the subject of adequate information campaigns, such as the use of mini cars. When asked how many passengers a minor was permitted to carry in a homologated mini car, only 53% of the students gave the correct answer.

 

• The way young people behave behind the wheel
The picture that emerged about the way young people drive is not comforting: 33% ignore the dangers of using a cell phone when driving and those who have the systems provided for in the Highway Code use them inconsistently, such as the 23% who say they wear an ear piece only for receiving calls and do not insert it before starting to drive. On the subject of alcohol, 89% know that it is important not to drink and drive, but many continue to underestimate the danger of certain actions and incorrectly interpret the zero alcohol tolerance for new licence holders (9%). Without a doubt, vehicle maintenance is their worst subject: 34% gave incorrect answers about tyre wear and 25% about car maintenance.

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