School Bus Safety Project
During 2009 West Berkshire Council approached Jonnie Rocket Ltd with a view to using the ‘Jonnie Rocket’ character for a new project on School Bus Safety.
Previously, this particular local authority had worked in partnership with several of their local bus operators to address the policing of bad behaviour on school transport. They’d set up matched funding arrangements for the installation of CCTV systems on their secondary school transport vehicles.
Although this project was quite successful it became clear that they needed to put in place a more preventative strategy, by educating the pupils about the dangers of bad behaviour on transport.
As soon as they became aware of ‘Jonnie Rocket’ they felt that the ethos of his character matched perfectly with the needs of their school bus strategy and they commissioned Jonnie Rocket Ltd. to commence work on an innovative new project. We named this project ‘The Ride of Terror’, which is now being delivered to all Year 6 primary school pupils throughout West Berkshire. The project promotes safer travel on all forms of transport and will in particular increase awareness of the serious implications of bad behaviour on school transport.
The original intention was to deliver the project simply through the creation of an animated DVD, which Jonnie Rocket Ltd. produced. However, having taken advice from various educationalists it was decided to produce a vibrant, colourful A5 sized book to accompany the work, giving the project far greater sustainability.
Each Year 6 primary school pupil in the area receives a personal copy of the book to take home, reinforcing the message. This adds value to the school lesson and the animated DVD, and enables the parents to stress the importance of the project to their children, enabling us to deliver the safety message with greater conviction.
We have also produced a ‘Teacher Resource Pack’ to accompany the project, which addresses our four key learning objectives. These all relate to safety on the vehicle, including: the correct wearing of seatbelts, the critical issue of not distracting the driver, the serious impact of bullying and something that we’ve called the ‘ripple effect’.
We feel delighted to be able to use ‘Jonnie Rocket’ for this work to engage the pupils through the use of animation, giving greater value to the project.
‘Jonnie Rocket’ does what most young people like to do, he explores and has fantastic adventures, but more importantly he is non-confrontational, non-violent, and has a totally centred, grounded approach to problem solving. As such he is a brilliant role model for the ‘The Ride of Terror’ project.
We piloted the project within the area and received excellent feedback from both teachers and pupils. With Jonnie Rocket the schools have discovered a character that pupils love and admire, and can immediately engage with.
This innovative project we are promoting safety messages, and the benefits are significant for all concerned:
• pupils have improved personal safety whilst using the transport,
• bus drivers are not distracted as easily and therefore experience increased concentration; hence their short and long term stress levels are much reduced,
• pedestrians are safer, as they will not be at risk of having objects thrown at them from bus windows, and
• road users are no longer distracted by pupils on the buses, therefore reducing the risk of accidents.
The project supports the local authority’s work and will achieve tangible improvements in transport safety. This work is a major priority both at local and national levels.
The project was formally launched in January 2012 at the National School Transport Conference in London and has been endorsed by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) and The Association of Transport Co-ordinating Officers (ATCO) and it is now being made available to other local authorities throughout the country.
For further details please contact: John Chapman at Jonnie Rocket Ltd on: 07799-888-934 or e-mail: email@example.com