Pedestrian safety training program for primary school students
The Safe Pedestrians program is designed to empower primary school students in grades 3 and 4 to walk to school and around their neighbourhood more independently and safely.
The training program focuses on road safety and includes a theorical component in the classroom and a practical component outdoors. Through this training, participants learn about the right behaviours to adopt to stay safe when they are walking.
Through interactive exercises including games, simulations, and a video, the three classroom activities educate participants on road signs, the principle of caution, and the right reflexes to adopt as pedestrians.
- Preparatory activity (10 minutes)
- Theoretical activity (one hour)
- Feedback activity (10 minutes or as homework)
Through two physical activities, students participating in the training have the opportunity to put their theoretical knowledge into practice and to experience typical situations on the road.
- Relay walk (30 minutes)
- Exploratory walk around the school (30 minutes)
A certificate is presented to all students who complete the Safe Pedestrians training. This certificate serves as confirmation that its holder has participated in the training and knows how to get around on foot safely and more independently.
An educational approach
This training program was created by Enviro Éduc-Action (an organization specializing in environmental education in the Ottawa region) based on information from the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec and in collaboration with educational advisers in the Ottawa region. It was developed to be given by homeroom teachers as well as physical education teachers. Each training component aligns with the school curriculum and addresses the following training topics: building one’s identity, the social world, French, physical education, and health.
Québec en forme conducted an analysis which revealed that nearly 50% of students who live close enough to their school to use active transportation are driven to school by their parents. The main concern is the safety of the students when they get around.
However, this low rate of active travel among primary school students affects both students and their environment, resulting in:
- Increased car traffic around schools, which significantly increases safety issues for students as they get around
- Decreased physical activity among students, which negatively affects their health and their ability to concentrate in class
The Safe Pedestrians training program was developed to address these issues and to encourage students who live within 1.6 km of the school to safely get there using active transportation.