Poland has one of the highest numbers of road fatalities in Europe. Road safety education (RSE) as an element of road accidents prevention is mainly conducted in elementary schools. It is not very effective and includes mostly theoretical aspects. The activity of parents in this scope and their involvement in school and after school RSE are also not sufficient.
Parents are first RSE teachers for their children. They should have background in this area and realize RSE purposefully and consequently and also cooperate with the school. Authors conducted research regarding teenagers’ parents’ activity in this scope. The aim of the research was to recognize parents’ opinions on main road safety problems, their motivations towards safe behaviours in traffic and their knowledge of methods to teach children road safety. The research was carried out with Focus Group Interview method in 2017 in two locations. 8 parents participated in each interview.
In parents’ opinion, main threats to children safety are reckless drivers and bad road infrastructure. In their opinion, knowledge from school is insufficient, selective and does not guarantee that children are ready to participate in traffic safely. Parents talk to children about traffic occasionally, when children go out or if there are related news in media. Even though safe traffic behaviours are tackled at home and school, parents feel that RSE requires expansion. In their opinion, it should be attractive enough, so children are motivated to learn more about safety. They perceive practical exercises as very important. Parents claimed that meetings where they discuss road safety issues of their children cause reflection on own traffic behaviour.
Important element of school RSE is the continuation done by parents at home, therefore the pedagogisation of parents is crucial. Unfortunately, the awareness of responsibility and road safety knowledge of parents are still insufficient.