Kids involved in driving down speed (KIDDS) represents an innovative and creative partnership approach to addressing road safety issues around local primary schools. In 2007, representatives from local road safety organisations worked together with six New Plymouth primary schools on a joint initiative to identify key road safety issues around the schools and develop potential solutions to address them. What was particularly unique about this project was that it was almost entirely led by students from the six schools. Between April and June 2007 the children collected passing vehicle speed data, using hand-held laser guns, along with information on road and weather conditions outside their school. They analysed this data, identified key issues and worked together to develop potential solutions. The children involved in the project presented their findings at a local conference in June 2007. Those invited to the conference included local councillors, road planners, police and other key stakeholders. The project led to the development of joint action plans between the project partners and those agencies with the ability and resources to implement road safety interventions. Outcomes included a number of tangible road safety actions and initiatives (including engineering solutions) and extensive local media coverage. The project won a national Road Safety Innovation Award in 2008, and since then KIDDS has evolved into a similar participatory project focusing on rural school bus safety. The project highlighted how children can become powerful agents of social change, and how communities can make themselves heard by working together on a project that addresses a common concern.
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