Traffic education in a memorable way
October 5th was an exciting day in Puuppola school in Jyväskylä, Finland, for both first graders and a couple of Silvasti people. Silvasti visited the school to talk about road safety. They also handed out LED-lighted safety vests to all first graders. This was not the only event of its kind. During the autumn Silvasti visited in few schools in Finland and in Denmark too.
For the second year running, Silvasti has participated in the nationwide Pieni kulkija (The Little walker) initiative. There companies can promote road safety by sponsoring first graders with safety vests. Instead of just having their logo printed on the vests, Silvasti joined in on the school visits to distribute LED vests and reflectors. It was also a great opportunity to give children – and teachers – traffic education in a memorable way.
It goes without saying that road safety is a top priority for Silvasti’s professional drivers. But when you are driving a truck, there is only so much you can do about the actions of others on the road. That’s why it’s so important to pass on road safety information to young children.
”We have instructed first-graders on how to behave near a big truck and in traffic in general. Whenever possible, we do the school trips by truck,” says Heidi Lehtonen, Marketing Coordinator for Silvasti.
”One important lesson is what the driver can see from the truck’s cabin – and especially what they can’t see. Many people think you can see a long way from up high in the cabin, and that’s true, of course. But few people know that the blind area right in front of the truck is surprisingly large. You simply can’t see what’s there.”
”This would certainly not hit home if we just gave a little lecture in class. This autumn, we wanted to show what we mean in actual practice. We’ll have the whole firstgrade class stand in front of the truck and the teacher climbs behind the wheel. It comes as a total surprise each time. Twenty children are standing right in front of you, and you can’t see a single one of them!” says Heidi.
Without exception, the response in schools has been enthusiastic and welcoming, including teachers. An important message is best communicated through personal experience. A Silvasti visit provides a nice change
to the school day for others than first graders as well. A big truck in the schoolyard is an exciting sight in itself, attracting kids of all ages.
Meanwhile in Denmark
Silvasti Denmark is also engaged in traffic education for primary school children. The Danish transport industry organization ITD organizes an annual campaign called Lastbilkaravanen (Truck caravan). It educates first and second-graders on road safety and provides general information about trucking.
In connection with the campaign, Silvasti visited Klim Friskole in Fjerritslev in northern Denmark last spring. There, too, the day started with an informative talk in the classroom. After that it continued outside where the Silvasti truck was parked.
“In the cabin, the children got to see with their own eyes how difficult it is to see pedestrians and cyclists in the truck’s mirrors. Especially when turning right,” says Administration Manager Ditte Nørager, Silvasti Denmark.
“We also discussed how important it is to be seen in traffic and how to communicate your intentions to other people on the road. At the close of the day, we talked about how trucks work and how important trucks are in freight transport in general.”
“As a company, it is our duty to promote road safety and school visits are an effective way to do it. We all had a great day and hopefully, the kids learned something too,” says Ditte.