Traffic education

Objective of traffic education is to guarantee lifelong traffic education that supports road users, is systematic and consistent, and based on shared responsibility

Everything starts at home and the region’s traffic culture, primary examples. The role of educational institutions is to support families. The role of the Estonian Transport Administration is to guarantee study aids, development activities in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Research, research institutions and universities.

The Road Administration is the creator of various preventive measures at the level of state since 1995. We see systematic traffic education throughout life: from pre-school to elderly road users.

  • Systematic development of skills and knowledge; shaping the values, attitudes, behavioural models at pre-schools and schools.
  • Traffic-related training: cycling training at schools, quality of the instruction/instructors at driving schools.
  • Development of in-service training programmes to guarantee people’s mobility and quality of life.

In Estonia, traffic education is integrated in preschool, basic school and upper secondary school curricula as part of Health and Safety. Curricula is being developed further in 2020, which will include the integration of traffic safety topics in the learning processes of various subject syllabi as well. For example, many topics concerning traffic safety are included in the syllabus of physical education: diverse and healthy physical activity, orienteering, safe physical activity, learning about various vehicles (e.g. hoverboard, (electric) scooter, skateboard, etc.) and cycling practice to support the cycling training carried out at schools. Guidance materials have been developed to help teacher cover the top and the newest of them is the teacher’s handbook on safety published in 2017.

Surveys of educational institutions

Supporting the teachers of preschools and general education schools via free refresher has been one of the priorities of the Estonian Transport Administration (Road Administration till 31.12.2020) for more than 20 years.

We have commissioned surveys of how traffic education is given in educational institutions since 2012. The objectives of the surveys are to identify how educational institutions manage to integrate the topic of traffic and to receive feedback and an input for our activities. You can watch the animated summary of the survey carried out in 2019.

Cooperation

The Estonian Transport Administration offers schools and children the opportunity to participate in various co-operation projects. Projects are intended in order to diversify traffic education in kindergardens and schools.

Pedestrians aged 8-14 are one of the risk groups according to the statistics of traffic accidents. This is why the Road Administration has been organising the “Stop, Look, Be Sure!” project for 5th and 6th year students of general education schools since 2015. The objective of the project is to teach students to pay attention to the safety of crossing the road on unregulated pedestrian crossings. The main target group of the project are students, but it is also aimed at teachers and local government representatives. At the start of the school year, students select dangerous road crossings near their schools under the instruction of their teachers. After doing this, the students will attend thematic training and then write the reminder STOP, LOOK, BE SURE! on the pavement next to these dangerous road crossings. This way, all the students of the school and other pedestrians will see this important safety message before they cross the road.

Examples of activities of schools:

  • action of Kunda Coed Upper Secondary School;
  • action of Tootsi Nursery and Basic School;
  • feedback from Tallinn German Upper Secondary School.

The objective of the project is to increase the accessibility of cycling training for third- or fourth-year students. The Estonian Transport Administration has been financing cycling training in schools to the extent of 50% within the scope of the project since. The remaining 50% is financed by the school or local government.

The Estonian Transport Administration offers teachers the opportunity to participate in free training for cycling trainers and guarantees free study materials for students. The schools that want to participate in the project enter into contracts with the Transport Administration and after the training has been completed, submit a report to the Transport Administration which is the basis for funding. 

KEAT is a cooperation project of the Rescue Board, the Police and Border Guard Board, the Defence League, the Estonian Health Insurance Fund, the Estonian Red Cross and the Estonian Transport Administration.  KEAT is a project with a long tradition (it has been running in Jõgeva County for over 22 years and for 7 years throughout Estonia).

Safety training for 6th year students of general education schools takes place within the scope of the project (or training is offered to teachers who will then discuss the topic with children).  The project ends in every county at the end of the study year with a safety camp. A team of eight members from each school can take part in the camp. Our experience shows that there is a lot of interest in taking part in the project, but it is becoming increasingly difficult for schools to fit the lectures into their timetables, as the quantity of activities offered to them is extensive. The idea of integrating safety topics has been offered as a solution.

The project helps carry out traffic education at pre-schools in the format of outdoor learning. The traffic carriage is a cooperation project between the Road Administration, pre-schools and schools. School students make a removable traffic education course for pre-school children within the scope of the project. The project has been running throughout Estonia for three years and 13% of Estonian pre-schools have taken part.

The objectives of the project are:

  • to provide new opportunities for traffic education at pre-schools;
  • to support pre-school teachers in organising, planning and carrying out traffic education;
  • to promote cooperation of schools and pre-schools in the area of traffic education (child safety, coping in traffic, threats on the way to school, etc.);
  • to provide general education schools with the opportunity to diversify manual training.

Cones, removable zebra crossing, barricade tape, marking paint and traffic signs are provided by the Road Administration, but the wooden parts are made in the schools. 

The project contributes to practising cycling skills during the training offered in school. The trick elements are a cooperation project between the Estonian Transport Administration and schools. School students make the elements that support cycling training for their schools within the scope of the project. The project has been running throughout Estonia for two years and 22% of Estonian schools have taken part.

The objectives of the project are:

  • to find options for integrating traffic education as a general topic;
  • acquisition of study aids for carrying out cycling training in schools.

The Estonian Transport Administration provides cones, barricade tape, stop signs and marking paint. 

Information materials

"A Guide for Pedestrians to the Traffic of Estonia" offers tips to pedestrians or users of public transport. Walking is becoming increasingly valued as it is healthy and cheap. At the same time, traffic is becoming more complicated and intense for pedestrians who, together with cyclists, are the most vulnerable road users in the traffic environment.

The material contains valid traffic rules, different alternatives for crossing the road – unregulated, regulated pedestrian crossing with a traffic light – as well as rules that apply when crossing the road at a pedestrian crossing. It also offers tips on how to travel on roads as a pedestrian, where should a pedestrian be located on footpaths and cycle tracks, and why it is important to wear a reflex reflector and make yourself visible in traffic. Important definitions are listed at the end of the material in order to help you better understand the text.

The brochure “Travelling on Estonian Roads as a Driver of Power-driven Vehicles” gives an overview of the traffic rules valid in Estonia and suggestions on how to travel safely as a driver of a power-driven vehicle on our roads.

The material includes the traffic rules applicable in Estonia, tips on traffic culture, information on the right to drive and the technical condition of the vehicle as well as on the use of appropriate safety equipment. Important definitions are listed at the end of the material in order to help you better understand the text.

The handbook “Travelling on Estonian Roads as a Cyclist” introduces traffic rules applicable to cyclists in Estonia and provides suggestions on how to travel safely as a cyclist. We have illustrated the text with photos to make it easier for readers to understand different traffic situations and to display correct traffic behaviour.

There is also a separate chapter on the specific aspects of children cycling, as additional requirements and restrictions apply to them during cycling in order to ensure safety.

Important traffic-related definitions can be found at the end of the material in order to help you better understand the text.

Study materials

There is a special traffic education website www.liikluskasvatus.ee in Estonia, which offers important traffic safety information to target groups of all ages. In addition to the traffic education website, the Estonian Transport Administration also has its own YouTube channel. We also support giving traffic education with many different study, guidance and information materials, games and educational films, which are meant for educational institutions, youth and social centres, driving schools and other organisations that give traffic education.

You can take a look at the different products in the order environment www.liikluskasvatus.ee/et/tellimiskeskus and they are free of charge for the target group.

Learning materials

The teacher’s handbook was prepared by a group of safety experts, which includes representatives of the Rescue Board, Police and Border Guard Board, Emergency Response Centre, Road Administration, Technical Regulatory Authority, National Institute for Health Development, Information Technology Foundation for Education, University of Tartu, Estonian Academy of Security Sciences, Tallinn University, Ministry of Education and Research, Ministry of Social Affairs, Society of Social Studies, etc.

The general part of the teacher’s handbook includes methodological recommendations for addressing the topic “Health and Safety” (incl. teaching methods, assessment guidelines, integration with subjects and general competence), the theoretical background of the sub-topic of safety (definitions, signs and markings, descriptions of dangerous situations, recommendations for safe behaviour, etc.), contact details of partner organisations and references to the materials created by them, learning outcomes of safety topics by stages of study, etc. 

Teacher’s handbook for preschool education includes a set of exercises about safety (24 in total) for preschool children, learning outcomes by the sub-topics of safety, recommendations for addressing the topics of safety in preschool education, incl. for organisation study trips in consideration of the safety of the children.

Teacher’s handbook for first stage of study includes a set of exercises about safety (22 in total) for 1st to 3rd year children, learning outcomes by the sub-topics of safety, recommendations for integration with subject content and safe organisation of study trips.

Teacher’s handbook for second stage of study includes a set of exercises about safety (22 in total) for 4th to 6th year children, learning outcomes by the sub-topics of safety, recommendations for integration with subject content and safe organisation of study trips, etc.

Teacher’s handbook for the third stage of study includes recommendations for addressing the main topic “Health and Safety” in the third stage of study, a set of exercises about safety (35 in total) for 7th to 9th year children, health and safety learning outcomes by sub-topics, recommendations for integration with subject content and an assessment tool for the third stage of study.

Teacher’s handbook for the fourth stage of study includes a set of exercises about safety (31 in total) for 10th to 12th year children, general learning outcomes of the topic “Health and Safety” for the upper secondary school level and learning outcomes by the sub-topics of safety.

Traffic calendar is a tool teachers can use for consistent traffic education in a group. Every calendar month has a specific traffic topic and message, which are illustrated with a picture. Every month comes with a teacher’s insert, which helps them plan and carry out traffic education. They include Estonian proverbs adapted to the topic of traffic and good ideas for integrating the topic of traffic in everyday activities and games. The activities in the calendar are supported by books of poems and stories about traffic. 

Educational game “Liiklustarga Liiklusmäng” for preschool teachers that supports the national study programme is a teaching tool consisting of three games that helps teachers to achieve the expected development outcomes of children described in the national curriculum. The games (picture, card and sign games) make learning about traffic more interesting, easier and efficient at preschools. The game is meant for children aged six and seven.

The game can be used for the following:

  • to learn and revise the rules of safe behaviour in traffic;
  • to develop analytical thinking and teach how to create connections;
  • to learn and revise the meaning of the most important traffic signs;
  • to integrate the topic of traffic in different activities in Estonian, mathematics.

The learning environment “Aga mina, liiklen ohutult” was developed by MTÜ Aga Mina and the Road Administration. The website is mainly aimed at the parents of small children and the teachers who deal with the children and their parents. The purpose of the learning environment is to support parents and teachers in ensuring the safety of children and helping them become polite road users. The 360° traffic safety project focuses on three important topics: traffic safety on the way to preschool and school, in the yard or when crossing a road or railway. Browsing the website and using different media gives parents important information or they can use it with the children to study different traffic situations and discuss safe traffic. 

Training

Introducing more systematic traffic education in the training programmes of traffic trainers (pre-school and school teachers, cyclist trainers, driving instructors):

  • training for cyclist trainers – for training 10-year-old cyclists, which ends with an examination (cycling license);
  • training for persons who accompany groups of children – for guaranteeing the safety of pre-school and primary school teachers during study trips;
  • training for the teams of educational institutions to teach them how traffic education can be integrated into the study process;
  • in-service training for driving instructors;
  • in universities, as an optional subject (partially) in teacher training.

Training aimed at risk groups:

  • Risk prevention training for young people
  • Training for elderly pedestrians, cyclists and drivers
  • Training aimed at the unemployed

Tradition:

Traffic education conferences on different important topics have been organised for various target groups every year since 2010. This year we focus on road courtesy related with 0-vision principle from new Road Safety Strategies of Estonia. 

In-service training for elderly drivers

The training is aimed at active motor vehicle drivers aged 60+. The theoretical part of the training (6 academic hours) gives an overview of the traffic situation, the causes of traffic accidents, major changes in traffic legislation and the risks of driving every day. A GP that talks about the impact of age-related health issues on traffic safety will also be involved. The GP talks about the following topics: vision and eye diseases, reaction speed and possible changes in it as a result of age, attention, hearing, various diseases, side effects of medicines and their unfavourable confluence from the viewpoint of driving. The practical part contains two driving lessons per trainee with feedback.

Driving lessons will be carried out with learner cars rented from a driving school. Cars with manual and automatic gearboxes will both be used.

We have successfully carried out this training in the four largest cities in Estonia since 2015. Earlier, the Estonian Transport Administration financed the training to the extent of 100%, but since 2016 it covers 50% of the cost and the other 50% is covered by the local government. 

Risk prevention trainings for young people

Target group: third-year students of vocational educational institutions, forms 11 and 12 of general education schools

Group size: 20-30 students

Duration of training: 4 or 6 academic hours

Covered topics: general traffic risks; impact of alcohol on people, incl. their behaviour in traffic; traffic accidents (causes and consequences of accidents); and possible difficulties after an accident.

Methodology: discussions, group work, tests with alcohol impairment simulation goggles, meetings with police officers and a person who ended up in a wheelchair as a result of a traffic accident.

Target group: first-year students of vocational educational institutions, form 10 of general education schools

Group size: 20-30 students

Duration of training: 2 academic hours

Covered topics: general risk behaviour of young people as pedestrians, cyclists, passengers and drivers in cars, and safer models for behaviour in traffic.

Methodology: discussions, group work, watching a film based on real life.

The project will be carried out in cooperation with the Police and Border Guard Board, the Rescue Board and the Estonian Red Cross. Water safety and first aid training will be carried out in schools in addition to traffic safety. There will be a practical safety day at the end of the project that summarises the activities. 

Target group: 9th forms of general education schools

Group size: 40-90 students

Duration of training: 2 academic hours

Covered topics: Legislation, responsibility. Connection between a misdemeanour and its consequences. Main traffic risks of young people: drunk driving, over-estimating one’s abilities, limited life and driving experience, lack of safety equipment, need to stand out among others. The lectures are based on lifelike situations and contain numerous examples from the extensive experience of the lecturers.

Methodology: The participants will watch the documentaries made by Märt Treier on the basis of real-life stories, hear the backstory of and circumstances surrounding the films, comment on the films and discuss them amongst themselves. 

Last updated: 19.02.2021