POLISH CHAMBER OF INSURANCE EDUCATES LITTLE ONES ABOUT DANGERS ON THE ROAD
20 September is World Insurance Awareness Day. Additionally, several European countries celebrate World Children’s Day on this day. The Central and Eastern European region is also launching an initiative called ‘Together for child safety in road traffic’, which has been joined by the Polish Chamber of Insurance.
TOGETHER FOR CHILD SAFETY IN ROAD TRAFFIC
Road safety associations, public authorities, educational institutions and the insurance industry from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia will join forces in support of the European Commission’s ‘Vision Zero’ programme. This is a project that aims to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries in car accidents by 2050. On 20 September, representatives of the participating organisations initiated a discussion on the safety of the youngest road users. They want to contribute to reducing the risk of accidents through appropriate education: organisation of lessons for children, online quizzes and social media campaigns.
HOW TO ENSURE SAFETY FOR CHILDREN ON THE ROAD
As part of the initiative, the Polish Chamber of Insurance together with the Traffic Department of the Warsaw Metropolitan Police Headquarters will prepare online lessons for students, teachers and parents.
PIU and the Traffic Department will draw participants’ attention to when and how children can use roads independently. They will also talk about an important stage of road education, i.e. the preparation for obtaining a bicycle driving licence. They will make children and parents aware about the significance of this document.
– ‘We will pay particular attention to the issue of children’s responsibility on the roads. Few parents realise that a thirteen- or fourteen-year-old may already be financially responsible for an accident he/she might cause’, says Monika Chłopik, PIU analyst.
EDUCATION COMES FIRST
Children are involved in traffic in ways that are very different from the habits of adults. Adults are often unaware of this, paying little attention to children’s education.
– ‘It is not enough to teach a child to look around properly. Road rules and the ability to read signs are crucial. Early school-age children, in whom risk awareness is not fully developed, are particularly at risk. Their field of vision is considerably restricted, so they detect risks on the road too late or misjudge the situation. Children’s perception of their surroundings, sounds and distances develops with age. At the same time, their ability to concentrate enhances, enabling them to react more consciously when in danger. However, before this happens, young people need to be adequately prepared for being in road traffic. A bicycle riding licence test is very helpful in this respect’, explains the expert.
– ‘Thorough preparation for this first test gives children a good deal of knowledge about how to use roads properly. Unfortunately, we can see that many parents underestimate this examination. We want to make parents aware that education is very important and their attitude is also a model for their children’, adds Monika Chłopik.
THE ROLE OF INSURANCE IN EDUCATION ABOUT SAFETY
Being in road traffic involves a real risk to health and life. According to the report titled ‘Risk Map of Poles’, 43% of the respondents perceive the risk of a car accident as probable, while as many as 70% are afraid of its consequences. Efficient risk management requires the shaping of the right attitudes through long-term actions. Therefore, teaching the youngest generations about road safety cannot be done without raising awareness of the role of insurance.
The primary school curriculum does not include teaching about finance or insurance. The situation does not change in later stages of schooling either. The Polish Chamber of Insurance is trying to fill this gap by organising meetings for students and teachers and by publishing guidance materials.
They address the most important aspects of being in road traffic – from safety, through accidents, to the role of rescue, as well as responsibility and insurance, which also protects the youngest from the consequences of dangers.