Please describe the main road safety challenges/problems you have addressed or are addressing.
LTSA is addressing the road safety problems related to coaches and people’s safety while travelling using this mode of transport. More than 8 million passengers in Lithuania travel by coaches to reach their hometowns or holiday destinations every year. In-depth researches show that more than 60 % of people understand that they must wear seat belts during these trips, yet only 13,9 % of passengers follow safety instructions and fasten their seat belts during their journey. <br><br><br>This is a worrying trend which is also reflected in practice. There have been several incidents in recent years where passengers’ decision not to wear seat belts in coaches led to serious injuries. Lack of awareness for this problem has clear possible solutions and these do not require much investment. <br><br><br>Therefore, the main object of the initiative is to promote usage of seat belts in coaches.<br><br><br>With this in mind, LTSA has started its campaign “I fasten my seat belt - I travel safely” and is expecting to increase the number of passengers who do fasten their seat belts in coaches, to educate people about possible dangers and to start a mutual cooperation with other institutions, social movement groups and society to promote the seat belts wearing when travelling around Lithuania in coaches.<br><br><br>The general idea and objectives of initiative “I fasten my seat belt – I travel safely” is to increase number of people who fasten their seat belts during their trips with coaches in Lithuania. The end goal would be to have everyone fastening their seat belts during their trips with coaches in Lithuania.<br><br><br>The main objective for now is to have at least 20 % of passengers fastening their seat belts in coaches by the end of 2019. This would mark the first year of the campaign as successful and would prove that actions taken by LTSA has been effective and productive.<br><br><br>Yet there are broader objectives within the campaign which may be harder to evaluate, but which are equally important in a long-term perspective:<br><br><br>1) LTSA believes that it is important to have an increased attention towards the issue of seat belts in coaches. It is expected to have more input and emphasis from public institutions and authorities, media and social movements on the issue. This would then turn into better education of society regarding the issues of seat belt fastening in coaches.<br><br><br>2) The campaign is also a platform to encourage institutional cooperation within the public authorities and private companies. Current situation with seat belts in coaches also depends on the attitudes of bus operators, bus stations and bus drivers. The initiative is expected to bring these players together, promote their cooperation to increase road and trips safety of coach passengers in Lithuania. <br><br><br>These broader objectives are reflected in smaller objectives which are declared by LTSA itself to track the progress the initiative and later it would help to evaluate success of results<br><br>
What are your objectives?
1) At least 20 % of passengers do fasten their seat belts in trips with coaches
2) To create and release at least 4 social initiatives related to seat belts in increasing awareness of passengers and reaching 200 bus drivers
3) To carry out seat belt usage focused presentations in 15 schools across Lithuania
4) To have at least 80 % of bus operators joining the memorandum of “Promotion of seat belts in coaches”
The seat belts have become a society norm since 1967 when majority of car manufacturers started installing them into their vehicles. It became a cheap and effective way to increase road safety. More than 50 years later we have mandatory requirements across the European Union to use seat belts in car, yet the number of fatalities caused by not wearing the seat belt is still relatively high. In fact, it is the second most common reason of road accident fatalities. Several studies by independent research institutes in EU have claimed that successful enforcement of seat belts wearing could save more than 7 300 EU citizens every year. Legal enforcement, society education about seat belts have had a positive effect on road safety in Lithuania. Wearing seat belts in front seats have become a norm and almost everyone does follow legal requirements regarding this. However, there is still a lot of room for an improvement, as only every third person in Lithuania does fasten the seat belt when sitting in the backseat. Moreover, seat belts in coaches became a standard back in 2007 yet it has been a forgotten topic and only a small number of people do remember to fasten their seat belts during their trips. With a renewal of bus park across Lithuania, majority of buses do have seat belts which are comfortable and perfectly fit for usage. However, wearing a seat belt in bus when travelling from one city to another is still more of an exception rather than a norm. In the summer of 2018 Lithuanian Transport Safety Administration (hereinafter – LTSA) has decided to end this stalemate and raise awareness to the problem of seat belts waring in coaches.Several accidents which have involved coaches during 2017 and 2018 have highlighted the issue of almost non-existent seat belt wearing in coaches. Following up with an in-depth analysis of current tendencies in coach trips there has been an agreement that this topic has a lot of room for safety improvements with wearing of seat belts being the focus point.In the late summer of 2018 LTSA has started the initiative to tackle mentioned problems and to change current tendencies of seat belts waring in coaches. The campaign is still out-going and involved many layers of institutions, social movements and society itself. Different methods and approaches have been selected to increase the safety of bus trips around Lithuania. Various activities have already taken the place and LTSA specialists have generated an action plan to ensure sustainability and efficiency of the campaign.“I fasten my seat belt – I travel safely” campaign is expected to educate Lithuanian citizens that seat belts could improve the safety of their trips with coaches. This topic has been overlooked for a while now and it is reflected by the data gathered during the initial research of LTSA. According to its results citizens do know the positive affect of seat belts (62 % of representatives), yet only every tenth person do fasten their seat belts during their trips across Lithuania (13,9 % of representatives). The campaign “I fasten my seat belt – I travel safely” is expected to yield the increase of number of people who wear seat belts during their trips with coaches. By the end of 2019 this number should mark more than 20% - doubling the initial number which has been recorded in spring of 2018. The sustainable growth is also expected in the upcoming years.
What has been the effect of the activities?
The success of entire campaign and different actions is evaluated with different methods and evaluation tools.The initial evaluation of situation with seat belts in coaches was carried out before intervention and beginning of LTSA’s campaign. It was an internal evaluation done by LTSA’s inspectors. The findings were taken as a basis for the start of the campaign and accordingly to initial numbers the goal for upcoming year was set.Further evaluation of number of people wearing seat belts had different approaches. The formal internal evaluation was continuously used with inspectors carrying our road checks of coaches to see the numbers of people who do fasten their seat belts. However, there were instances where drivers encouraged passengers to fasten their seat belts just before the inspector got into the coach. To avoid possible manipulations and false information, LTSA has introduced “secret passenger” internal evaluation with a LTSA representatives regularly taking trips with coaches to evaluate not only the number of passengers who do fasten their seat belts, but also to have a chance to see habits of drivers and passengers related to the issue. This proved to be effective way to carry our further evaluations. It has also provided a chance for everyone within the institution to take an active part in the campaign as everyone who had/is having a chance to travel with coach contributed to the monitoring of current tendencies of passengers. Our external partner – Police Department has also carried out evaluation and provided gathered information during their road inspections and checks.Another set goal of the campaign is to increase awareness of passengers and drivers. A lot of actions taken and planned for future are related to this. The success of these actions will be evaluated by constant surveys (for example – student survey) and measurement of effective reach of social ads carried out during the campaign.
How have you shared information about your project and its results?
Results of the campaigns will not only indicate the success of the initial actions and steps taken to encourage people to wear seat belts in coaches, but it will also be the guiding line for upcoming years’ actions. The results will be communicated within various instrument and bodies across the country. Bus operators, bus stations, police department and other partners will use results to see whether current tools used are working or there should be a slight change in the approach.<br><br>The results will also be presented to the citizens of Lithuania as it may become a tool to educate and encourage people to follow the example of those who do fasten their seat belts in coaches. <br><br>The promotion of the initiative goes step by step with every action of the campaign as the increased awareness of the problem is one of key goals of LTSA’s initiative. Posters, social campaigns, educational meetings and institutional cooperation are some of the tools which have been used for promotion. There has also be stickers, surveys which have helped to spread the message of the initiative. <br><br>LTSA is also happy that our main partners have also engaged in the promotion of the campaign and have been spreading the news about initiative. <br>
How many people did you reach/have you reached?
Who carried/carries out the evaluation activities?
When did/will you carry out the evaluation?
Before, after and continuous monitoring
How many groups did you evaluate/have you evaluated?
Please list the indicators you use to measure success
Increased number of passengers fastening their seat belts in coaches
Raised awareness: people reached by social and media campaigns
Educational materials distributed among bus stations, bus operators, bus drivers and passengers
Increased institutional cooperation
Please describe the evaluation tools you use (i.e. surveys, interviews, focus groups, etc.)
Official road inspections to evaluate number of passengers fastening their seatbelts
“Secret passenger” evaluations
Media statistics evaluation