MOBILITY AND TRANSPORT
European Road Safety Charter
Good Practice

XIU: Seeing and being seen is of vital importance !

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XIU: Seeing and being seen is of vital importance !

Organisation details

XIU (pronounced as: "'k zie u" which means in Flemisch: I see you)
Association
Contact name 
Isabelle Vercruysse
Telephone number 
+32496528191
Please describe the main road safety challenges/problems you have addressed or are addressing. 
In 2008, several fatal accidents involving teenagers on bicycles occurred in our region. Parents' associations of secundary schools sat down around the table to think about a solution together. Studies showed that young people are very often involved in bicycle accidents. The cause is often “not being seen” in the dark. Most primary school children are required to wear a fluorescent jacket in our region. Young people in secondary school don't like wearing fluorescent jackets. They are laughed at by their schoolmates. Imposing an obligation is not possible. XIU looked for other solutions to tackle this problem in a way that would make it easier for them to do so.

Project activities

If you work together with external partners, list the most important partners and briefly describe their role. 
• The Roads and Traffic Agency (Vlaamse Overheid-Mobiliteit en Openbare werken) and the Office of the Flemisch Minister of Mobility (Lydia Peeters); • Kijk Uit - is a Flemish television programme about traffic safety. The programme has been broadcast on Eén of the VRT since 1977 and is made in cooperation with the Belgian Federal Police, the Flemish Traffic Safety Foundation (VSV), the Brussels Capital Region and the Flemish Region; • Frank Deboosere, weatherman of the Flemish television (VRT): he is ambassador of XIU; • The collaboration with VSV: Flemish traffic engineering foundation (Vlaamse Stichting Verkeerskunde); • VIAS that, together with citizens, companies, universities and governments, contribute to optimizing mobility;
Please describe the project activities you carried/are carrying out and the time period over which these were implemented. 
1. By organizing an annual creative competition (from October to March) in which young people from secondary schools are encouraged to think about the importance of visibility in traffic; 2. By bringing fluorescent and retro-reflective material to the attention of young people in a playful way: by using self-developed game materials; 3. By organizing workshops for teenagers: teenagers learn to take responsibility, know their own limits and respect the limits of others; 4 By organizing a national ‘FLUO’day for schools, police, cities and municipalities, companies,… for everyone. By involving other partners, the teenagers are supported. “Seeing and being seen” is important for everyone in traffic: the cyclist wants to be seen and the car driver wants to see the cyclist. It is all about respect, responsibility and commitment in traffic 5. By giving lectures for parents and teachers: traffic behavior does not stand alone, the behavior that young people and adults display in traffic is a reflection of their daily social behaviour; 6. By rewarding the schools for their efforts in the annual visibility checks during the dark months; 7. By calling on the know-how of a number of partners from our own country and other countries.
List the actions you carried/are carrying out 
Date 
Thursday, 2 June, 2022

Evaluation

What has been the effect of the activities? 
XIU started with 8 secondary schools in 2008. Schools were added every year. The association grew year by year. In the meantime, 226 secondary schools spread over the whole of Flanders are members of the association. This reaches 141 642 teenagers.
Please briefly explain why your initiative is a good example of improving road safety. 
Every year, the secondary XIU schools are the ones asking to take part in the actions. They register for the competition, take part in workshops, use the available game material live or online developed by XIU over the years. By taking part in the different actions, they make the teenagers aware of the visibility on the bicycle. More and more, we see that young people become more visible on the bicycle by using visibility material such as fluorescent jackets, retroreflective material and spoke reflectors.
How have you shared information about your project and its results? 
The information is disseminated through flyers, posters, e-mails, newsletters, social media, newspapers, radio, television, … The results are summarised every year in a report that is sent to the Mobility and Public Works Agency of the Flemish Government and to the Flemish Minister for Mobility.