Poland belongs to countries with one of the highest mortality rate in Europe. This shows that undertaken actions, including road safety education (RSE), are not effective. In Poland, RSE is realized in elementary school and is mostly limited to teaching traffic rules, visits of policemen and exercises in simulated conditions.
In order to elaborate proposals for systemic solutions regarding RSE, it is necessary to study how it is perceived by the students. Authors conducted research concerning RSE at elementary schools from the perspective of high school students, who have already completed this process. The aim of the study was to establish how students understand road safety, what are their motivations and attitudes towards safe behaviour on roads and to learn about methods used in RSE.
The study was conducted with Focus Group Interview method in 2017 in two locations. Each interview had 8 participants, recruited based on the selected criteria.
The results showed that road safety topic is not popular among young people. Even though they are aware of the traffic risks, they are not motivated to behave safely. The content of RSE is not memorized and does not translate into actions. Students claimed that both parents and school do not transfer road safety knowledge in a convincing way. They indicated that school treats RSE as a secondary topic and it lacks interactive elements.
The expectations of teenagers regarding road safety are that classes should be interesting and more practical. From the perspective of students there is a shortage of interactive forms and common discussion. Therefore, in order to improve the effectiveness of RSE addressed to young road users, it is necessary to intensify actions considering their opinions and put more stress on forms of RSE realization which arise from the national education core curriculum.
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