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Lifelong learning principle holds true in developing road safety skills

2023 01 19

In 2022, Lithuanian Road Administration, AB (hereinafter – the Road Administration) has reached the audience of more than 70,000 people through direct communication projects in the field of road safety education.

According to the Head of the Road Administration Remigijus Lipkevičius, various educational activities carried out by the Road Administration actively contribute to the creation of a safer environment on roads and the development of a cultured road user. One of the main goals of the road safety education is to ensure that that there is not a single fatality on the roads in Lithuania. This goal requires continuous and consistent work and the willingness of road users themselves to change, to participate responsibly and respectfully in road traffic.

In 2022, a great attention was devoted to direct communication projects – continuing activities that have been ongoing for several years and renewed every year, while also arranging new campaigns. Last year also saw the launch of the project “Safe traffic stops”, the drawing competition “Safe road traffic”, the demonstration of seat belt devices during various events, etc. The “Day of reflectors” organised not for the first year already was enriched by the “ReflectorMobile” trip, during which 30 municipalities were visited. The aim of the preventive road safety campaign organised jointly with the main partners of the campaign – representatives of public health offices, fire fighters-rescuers, police officers – to draw attention to the significance of safe traffic, to encourage all road users to behave responsibly on the roads and in the streets, to wear vests with reflective elements, reflectors, to use seatbelts, to choose safe driving speed, to be attentive and show respect to each other on the road.

The direct communication campaigns provided an opportunity not only to discuss, but also to put into practice the acquired knowledge. In smaller towns and villages, people often commute on old bicycles, which are mainly not roadworthy. During the campaigns, road safety specialists of the Road Administration explained what a roadworthy bicycle should look like and helped those who lacked bicycle lights to attach them to their vehicle.

In 2022, after a two-year interval, following the lifting of pandemic restrictions, the competition “Let’s save young lives on the roads” was organised for school pupils of Lithuania. The competition was re-launched with a greater focus on scooter drivers, and the updated tasks concentrated more on the practical application of road traffic rules. In addition, other road safety initiatives were implemented, e.g., the initiative “Working together to keep roads safe”, the performance “Safe traffic!” for children aged 4–9 years in kindergartens and primary schools of Lithuania, the delivery of almost 20 road safety lessons in various pre-school or primary education institutions, and the organisation of the event for driving a car in winter, when traffic conditions rapidly change due to unstable weather.

The project-competition “Traffic safety in communities”, which has been running for more than ten years, is the direct communication project engaging the largest number of participants. In 2022, 102 communities with more than 19,000 people in Lithuania have applied for taking part in the project. The project is unique in that the communities themselves creatively educate their members on road safety issues through various events. In addition, people living in the same village or town, in the same communities know each other well and it is easier for them to remind a forgetful neighbour to wear a reflector when it is dark, or to discipline a driver who is driving drunk.

Every year, the Road Administration and its partners devote attention to celebrating the days related to road safety. On the Road Safety Day (celebrated on 6 April) in Lithuania, the event for the whole family “I am safe and protecting others” was organised in Vilnius Cathedral Square, where visitors were invited to participate in various educational activities on road safety. On the last Sunday of September, the Day of Travellers and Drivers, the Road Administration, together with the partners of the road safety project “Let’s keep each other safe on the road” – the police, clergy – drew attention through a series of posts on social networks to the responsibility of every road user when participating in traffic. Last November, on the occasion of the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, the light installation “Cherish Life” was displayed in Vilnius Cathedral Square.

According to preliminary data from the Lithuanian Road Police Service, in 2022, 120 road users were killed in road accidents, which is by 27 road users less than in 2021 (147).