More than 23,000 road accidents with personal injury in Germany alone were caused by trucks in 2021. The youngest road users are particularly in focus. It is precisely this target group that the German association Blicki e.V. addresses under the patronage of the Federal Minister of Transport, Dr Volker Wissing. Blicki has already helped more than 50,000 children to get familiar with traffic rules by organising activities at local primary schools. The recycling company, REMONDIS, has now also taken part in a campaign at the Aloisius primary school in Ahrweiler, Germany, to show the pupils the dimensions of a lorry.
Road safety should be part of the curriculum
Even for adults, the increasingly complex road traffic is a daily challenge. In this context, the youngest and weakest road users have a very special significance. It is therefore all the more important to be a role model for children every day and to familiarise them with the traffic rules as early as possible.
“When I was 14, I had a serious traffic accident with my bicycle and was in hospital for several months. Therefore, I know from my own experience how fundamentally important the topic of road safety is. It is my goal and also the declared goal of Blicki e.V. to reach significantly more primary school children nationwide so that they are aware of the particular danger of HGVs. The routes to school must become safer,” says association chairman Dominik Grobien, explaining the intention.
Kangaroo Blicki surrounded by excited primary school children in Ahrweiler
Workshop stations in the schoolyard
In order to reach as many children as possible, the mascot Blicki, a friendly and clever kangaroo, regularly visits primary schools all over Germany and educates them about road traffic. This was also the case in the Ahr valley – among others at the Aloisius primary school in Ahrweiler. The recycling company REMONDIS was also there to show the children the possibilities but also the dangers of a large truck. The District Administrator of the Ahrweiler district, Cornelia Weigand, and the First Councillor of the City of Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Peter Diewald, also took part and found out about Blicki’s work on site.
There was a lot of support in Ahrweiler: from left: Rector Klaus Mührel, Dirk Hendler from the Blicki initiative, Peter Diewald, First Councillor of the City of Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Cornelia Weigand, District Administrator of the Ahrweiler district, Kangaroo Blicki, Nicolas Müller, Branch Manager of REMONDIS Bonn Rhein-Sieg-Ahr, and Michael Schneider, REMONDIS’ press spokesman
Sit in the driver’s seat
First, the pupils in Ahrweiler were introduced to the day with the Blicki story. It continued in the schoolyard with various workshop stations. Through estimation and running games on the topic of stopping distance, the children learned how long it takes cars and trucks to come to a full stop. They were shown that a car can still be faster on its stopping distance than a running child. All the stations taught them about the traffic rules in a playful way.
Finally, the focus was on REMONDIS’ truck. Each child was allowed to sit in the driver’s seat and see with their own eyes what the driver can and cannot see in the mirrors. The surprise was written all over each child’s face when the entire school class disappeared into the blind angle and could no longer be seen from the driver’s seat.
In the schoolyard, the children learned about the dangers of road traffic in a playful way
„Since our work involves driving large vehicles on the roads every day, we want to set an example. Just as we constantly sensitise our drivers to the risks, it is equally important to start with the youngest ones and vividly illustrate the dangers of the blind angle to them. A nice and important initiative that we are always happy to support!“
Nicolas Müller, head of the REMONDIS branch in Bonn Rhein-Sieg-Ahr
Experienced in road traffic
At the end of the day, the pupils were able to review their experiences in a black light play and test which traffic rules they had already internalised. An eventful day, which hopefully ensures that the children will be safer and more experienced in road traffic in the future.
Image credits: © REMONDIS