Technology that gets our kids to school safely
March 22, 2022
Masha is an 11-year-old girl from Belgrade who needs to cross the street every day on her way to school. But her route lacks proper crossings and signals, making it very unsafe for her, her classmates and other young students like her in Belgrade and around the world.
Globally, road traffic crashes are the number one cause of death for children between the ages 15 to 19, and the number two cause of death among children aged 5 to 14. Sadly, around 180,000 children die annually because of traffic accidents.
In that context, it is not surprising that every single parent worries about the safety of their children when walking to or from school. This is when kids are at their most vulnerable.
The Safe2School application aims to reduce these preventable casualties using information crowd-sourced from all app users on their daily commute. In the app, users can flag locations where danger lurks for children walking to or back home from school, alert local authorities about the most frequently reported safety issues and use real-time data to adjust their children’s commute to avoid the most dangerous locations.
Children like Masha can easily report the locations along her route where she feels unsafe, such as obstacles blocking the streets, areas with low visibility or lack of lighting, broken traffic signs, lack of sidewalks, or improper conditions on public transport. And her parents, teachers and other children can collaborate in developing the safest routes to school to avoid these risks.
As citizens log information in the app, local authorities receive reports from their area so they can prioritize improvements to transit systems and pedestrian routes. They also receive real-time alerts if there is a serious accident or emergency.
The application was developed with financial support from the World Bank-hosted Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF), using UK Aid funding. It was piloted in a number of schools in Moldova and Serbia. User feedback was very positive, and parents’ councils and schools promoted its usage. As a crowd sourcing platform, it can help inform and shape future or even ongoing Bank projects that include a road safety component. It provides a simple and global tool to perform quick diagnostics, assess the most critical road safety issues that citizens in a given area are facing, and shape interventions accordingly. It can also be used as a platform to connect relevant road safety bodies and exchange the data.
The Safe2School app is intended for schoolchildren, parents, teachers, decision makers, and anyone anywhere in the world concerned about child safety in traffic. As more users begin logging data in the app, it will become even more useful.
With Safe2School, Masha and her friends no longer need to feel unsafe every time they cross the street, and their parents will rest assured that safety on school routes is covered.
More information you can find directly at the web page www.safe2school.net
Or by downloading the app via the following links:
Previously published on World Bank Blogs.