Some of the innovative components of BRAC’s road safety programme are:
Road safety animation film (for telecasting on television)
Children are easily attracted to the imaginative and entertaining aspects of animation. BRAC produced a road safety animation film programme titled Lal, Holud aar Shobuj (Red, yellow and green) to provide road safety education on television. A series of two animation films was produced that focuses on essential knowledge for using the road safely.
Community road safety groups
A community road safety group takes responsibility for their local road safety situation. Its ten to twelve members meet voluntarily on a bi-monthly basis to plan and implement relevant actions. They are local leaders who are not holding a post in a political organisation. Examples of group actions are: collecting money from the community to paint missing marks of a speed breaker, requesting local government engineering department to install a shed at particular local bus bay, and advocating vendors to stop encroaching the road with their stalls. They also give post-accident support to victims of road casualties by helping them get medical treatment immediately after the accident and receive financial compensation.
Training for NGOs and community based organisations (CBOs)
The objective of engaging local NGOs or CBOs is to develop their capacity on road safety so that they can use this knowledge to make their programme participants aware and to help the implementation of the project activities. They are selected, and given a week-long residential training on road safety management which includes road safety issues along with finding support and sponsorship from local philanthropists, private sector and potential donors. The leaders of the NGOs or CBOs meet monthly or quarterly to follow up on the training and to review the progress of the implementation of project activities. These NGOs or CBOs continued road safety activities after the completion of a project.
Road safety training of rickshaw pullers
The rickshaw is a three wheeler non-motorised vehicle, and a very common mode of transportation in Bangladesh. Pullers of these vehicles are mostly illiterate, untrained and unaware of traffic rules. The rickshaws have no lights, compromising its visibility during night. These rickshaw pullers are put through a participatory road safety training session lasting half a day followed by pasting of honeycomb reflective stickers on the backside of rickshaw.
Road safety training for commercial vehicle drivers
A three-day residential training is provided to in-service commercial bus and truck drivers at BRAC Driving School. The module aims at improving their attitude and behaviour towards responsible and safe driving through increasing their knowledge. There is a shorter version of the module lasting for a day, and it is held at bus terminals. Digitised and bar coded audio-visual training materials are used in the course.
Road safety theatre
To raise awareness through infotainment, theatre shows are staged in communities. The audience is involved to demonstrate the road safety messages delivered during the show and a discussion is held afterwards. The performance incorporates local customs, dialects, ethnicities, etc. based on the location. Usually, the majority of audience consists of women and children.
Awareness through multimedia shows
These are held at major growth centres and bazaars (and sometimes in schools for the students). The messages of these shows are about safe walking, crossing rules and to discourage street-side vendors from encroaching the road. The shows make use of a training video followed by discussion. These are shown in the evening so that anyone can watch.
Road safety education at schools
Teaching about road safety to children can reap lifelong benefits to society. The headmasters of selected educational institutions (within 500 meters of a road within project area) are given a day-long training on road safety to motivate them to provide road safety education in their institutions. Headmasters nominate two teachers from their individual institutions for a two-day road safety training, which is facilitated by BRAC's road safety trainers. The training module includes amongst other things - safe walking and crossing rules, first aid, informing police of accidents and the claiming procedure of insurance compensation. These teachers in turn teach all the students of their educational institutions on road safety using flipcharts provided by BRAC’s road safety programme.
Road safety posters are installed in classrooms, and practical demonstration classes on safe crossing and walking are organised at schools. Students are encouraged to share their gained new knowledge with the parents, neighbours and relatives. A quiz competition is held at each educational institution to stimulate the learning of the students and to test their gained knowledge. The students receive quiz booklets that they can use to prepare themselves.
This activity is useful to reach those who do not attend the other road safety interventions of the project. Each household and shop in the campaign area are visited by project staff. They hold discussions in an open area in between houses with multiple households at a time. They use training posters to discuss and demonstrate three major road safety messages, like safe walking and crossing roads and the impact of road encroachment. These meetings are held on the preferred times of the people and attended mostly by women and children. After the discussion, the project staff hangs three posters on a prominent place of the house or shop.
These are installed on important spots beside the highway to remind the road users, particularly the drivers to think about road safety and obey the rules. This is a relatively cheap way to disseminate safety messages.
Student traffic cadets (STC)
Financially needy and bright students, especially scouts and girl guides are selected for this intervention. The selected STCs are put through a two-day long training on road safety. They extend road safety in the community as volunteers. They act as road safety role model of their own institutions and community; help old, children and disabled to cross road; motivate people for safe walking, crossing, proper use of bus stop/bay and footpath/roadside etc. They are provided with yellow jackets and caps to wear while performing their duty so that people can identify them easily and see them from faraway. Their work hours are chosen in consultation with them and their teachers. They are given monthly stipend.
Supporting Upazilla Road Safety Committee (URSC)
In most upazillas (sub-districts), such a committee has either not been formed, or has not been active, despite an order by the government. CRSG members, project staff and CBO/NGO leaders approach the Upazilla Nirbahi Officer (local government representative of highest rank who is supposed to head the URSC), and persuade him/her to form the committee and call for meeting. Efforts are made to make someone member of the committee who is from the CRSGs or NGOs/CBOs, in order to help the URSC be active and sustainable. The URSCs are also given support to organise workshops to produce a road safety action plan for their own upazilla