Campaign celebrates the ‘unusual’ children who go to school themselves

| May 29, 2017

In 2012, The Municipality of Skanderborg launched the traffic campaign “The Unusuals” and the campaign is still on-going now, five years later. The aim was and is to get more school children to transport themselves as it will make them more confident in traffic and reduce the number of cars around the schools.

Tour De Unusual where The Unusuals, together with local bicycle repairmen, went to the schools to make the children’s bicycles ready for spring.

Tour De Unusual where The Unusuals, together with local bicycle repairmen, went to the schools to make the children’s bicycles ready for spring.

The Municipality of Skanderborg makes a big effort to make it easier and safer to cycle. As a part of this the municipality has developed a campaign with the advertisement agency Aros Kommunikation aiming to get more school children to transport themselves.

– It is good for the children’s health, the environment and traffic safety to cycle or walk instead of being driven there by car. Therefore as a municipality we have a responsibility to make it easier and safer for the children to get to school safely and we work for this through “The Unusuals”, says Jette Schmidt, project manager at The Municipality of Skanderborg.

From board game to Facebook

”The Unusuals” is built on the story of a hero couple – a girl and a boy – who instead of being driven to school by car, transport themselves. In the campaign all children who cycle, walk or roller skate to school get a ‘hero status’. Therefore there is a large focus on sharing the good stories about ‘everyday heroes’ to inspire the children and make them proud of what they have done.

When the campaign was launched in 2012, it was primarily analogue: the children were involved via, amongst other things, board games – and folders were handed out to the parents. Since then a lot has happened. The two heroes have been kept on but the visual expression has had a brush-up. The campaign has also moved to digital platforms and the communication now primarily takes place via Facebook and school websites. However the physical materials still exist in the shape of signs, posters etc. as it is important that the campaign takes place where the change of behaviour must take place: around the schools.

Campaign for school start 2017 with both younger and older The Unusuals.

Campaign for school start 2017 with both younger and older The Unusuals.

More children transporting themselves – fewer worried parents

Apart from ensuring that the campaign is very visible both at and outside the schools, the municipality has worked hard to make the school roads safer. The initiatives have produced good results in many ways, says Jette Schmidt:

– It is my clear impression from the school principals in the municipality that still more children are transporting themselves. Also, we get considerably fewer inquiries from worried parents. With our campaign page on Facebook they have been given a platform where they can find information about everything from traffic safety to new bicycle lanes. This has created a greater feeling of safety.

Events at the schools all year round

”The Unusuals” have a close cooperation with to large organisations in this field – Safe Traffic (Sikker Trafik) and Danish Cyclists’ Federation. Apart from participating in their annual campaigns The Municipality of Skanderborg itself organises events at the schools throughout the year. A reflector event in the autumn and ”Tour de Unusual” in the spring where the children’s bicycles are made spring ready. All initiatives and and communication focus on making it easier and safer for children to navigate in traffic.

The ‘Kiss goodbye and Go’ sign which can be found at most schools in The Municipality of Skanderborg.

The ‘Kiss goodbye and Go’ sign which can be found at most schools in The Municipality of Skanderborg.

Category: Newsletter, Newsletters in English, Uncategorized

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