Background All children in childhood are exposed to risk of road traffic injury (RTI). Insufficient road traffic orientation, education and other risk factors inherent to childhood make children vulnerable group. Routine mortality data obtained from the Croatian Bureau of Statistics for Split and Dalmatia County (SDC) showed 3 children aged 5–9 and 5 of them aged 10–14 as victims of RTI deaths with mean annual mortality rate 3.5 and 3.3 per 100.000 respectively, during the observed period 2003–2013.
Objective Our project based on multidisciplinary approach is intended to improve knowledge on road traffic injury prevention (RTIP) and to increase road traffic skills among young schoolchildren (aged 6-10 years) in two elementary schools where two road traffic related deaths occurred (one at schoolyard and other nearby school bus station).
Results In accordance with the Third Road Safety Week celebration, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Department in partnership with the Traffic Police Department, implemented pilot project on RTIP which included almost 300 schoolchildren. The project consisted of two workshops, educational and role playing one, designed by public health professionals and police officers. Pre and post questionnaire scores were compared to assess the effectiveness of the workshops. We used descriptive analysis. Results showed that children’s knowledge of RTIP was insufficient. After implementing workshops, children improved knowledge of RTIP as well as their road traffic skills (increased competence in respecting traffic rules) and were able to take their own road safety measures responsibly (helmets, seat belts). Also they increased global awareness of injury prevention.
Conclusions Early and continuous education including road traffic skills improvement is essential aspect of RTIP among young schoolchildren. The formation of public health - police partnership can contribute to well RTIP which represents example of good practice.