Fundación Educatrafic, a non-profit organisation run by education and road safety professionals in Zaragoza, set up a training programme to provide practical support to youngsters from the age of 16 using electric scooters, skateboards and other personal mobility vehicles (VMPs). This initiative was also shortlisted for our 2021 Excellence in Road Safety Awards, find out more here.
In 2020, there were more than 1,000 scooter-related accidents, with 109 serious injuries and six deaths. As the popularity of the scooters increases, so does the number of incidents.
The Fundación Educatrafic team are aware that anyone can ride a scooter on the road without any formal training, which results in accidents.
The training programme at a specialist driving centre is divided into an awareness discussion about the use of personal vehicles and practical experience on a course designed to simulate an open road.
Teaching the basic rules of the road, including the meaning of different signs, is a core element of the training, before the young people take part in different scenarios on the practice track. These include wearing goggles to simulate the effects of having been drinking and various balance tests.
The new initiative aims to make the training fun, giving attendees access to the specially designed circuit where they can practise different manoeuvres in safety, while following the rules of the road. Practical tests include low speed riding to improve control; emergency braking; negotiating cones; and making various turns.
They also perform the alcohol simulation tests as a pedestrian to illustrate the dangers of being close to a road.
The course runs over a whole day with initially around 10-15 students in a group for the presentation. Smaller groups of four or five riders take part in the practical training.
Fundación Educatrafic has run further road safety awareness days with guidance and advice being offered to even the youngest riders. Children from two to 12 have been able to try out mini go-karts on a practice road to help them appreciate the dangers.
Another road safety awareness day looked at the importance of wearing a seat belt, the correct positioning of the seat while driving and also the dangers of carrying loose items in the event of an impact.
At the end of each course, the instructors hold a discussion with the attendees to discuss the outcomes and answer any further questions.
Fundación Educatrafic is happy to work with other organisations to help them teach the same programme to extend its reach.