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“I fasten my seat belt – I travel safely”

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“I fasten my seat belt – I travel safely”

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.

If you work together with external partners, list the most important partners and briefly describe their role. 
Lithuanian Police – Police representatives have helped to monitor the results of the campaign with official road checks to see data and tendencies of passengers traveling with coaches. Bus operators and bus stations – as the campaign is directly related to the activities of mentioned partners, they have been important partners of the campaign and have agreed to co-operate in order to ensure that the campaign is successful, visible and promoted by bus drivers, bus operators themselves.
What problem did you address/are you 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. 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. Therefore, the main object of the initiative is to promote usage of seat belts in coaches. 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. 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. 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. Yet there are broader objectives within the campaign which may be harder to evaluate, but which are equally important in a long-term perspective: 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. 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. 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
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”
Describe the characteristics of your target audience 
Targeted audience involves people from every age category. Basically, every person who is a potential user of coaches’ services is the target audience of the campaign.
How many people did you reach/have you reached? 
List the actions you carried/are carrying out 
Date 
sreda, 21 Marec, 2018 to sreda, 28 Marec, 2018
Name of action 

In-depth analytical research by LTSA’s inspectors

The research focused on on-road checks of coaches and their passengers. During the week 326 coaches and 5621 passengers have been checked. Inspectors collected data how many passengers wear seat belts, how many know about the necessity to fasten them. The results proved that current situation is worrying as more than 60 % of people understood that they must wear seat belts during these trips, yet only 13,9 % of passengers followed safety instructions and fastened their seat belts.

Initial results have become a basis for the campaign and marked a starting number for future’s evaluations.

Date 
petek, 17 Avgust, 2018
Name of action 

Memorandum of promotion of seat belts in coaches

The memorandum marked the starting point of entire initiative. LTSA, Lithuanian carriers and bus operators, bus station managers have signed a memorandum of understanding which have bus stations, bus drivers pledge to remind and encourage passengers to wear seat belts during their trips with coaches.

18 out of 43 carriers, including the main players (composing 81% of the routes in Lithuania) have joined the initial memorandum and declared strong support for passengers’ safety during their travel time across Lithuania.

Date 
ponedeljek, 20 Avgust, 2018 to petek, 30 November, 2018
Name of action 

Petition “Fasten your seat belt”

A petition was initiated by young LTSA representative which encouraged students travelling from their cities of universities to their hometowns, and vice-versa, to follow safety instructions and fasten their seat belts during their trips with coaches.
Petition has reached more than 1050 young people in Lithuania.

Date 
torek, 21 Avgust, 2018 to ponedeljek, 1 Oktober, 2018
Name of action 

Social media “I fasten my seat belt – how about you?”

The initiative followed on with a social campaign in Facebook which has encouraged people to fasten their seat belts in couches and in this way to show example for other passengers as well.

Each passenger could take an active part in this campaign and participate in a promotional competition with prizes established by LTSA. Passengers were invited to travel with coaches with the fastened seat belts and take a photo of their positive examples.
Campaign has received attention from different groups of society including young pupils and older seniors. Selected participants have received small prices for their encouragement and promotion of road safety culture.

Social media publications have reached over 15 000 people in Lithuania.

Date 
nedelja, 1 April, 2018 to petek, 31 Avgust, 2018
Name of action 

Publications in mass media

The news about the campaign has spread across the mass media in Lithuania. There have been more than 50 articles published in various media outlets, newspapers. The topic has aired in radio shows, television. Following the numbers, 56 000 people have been reached within this period of time. It is also expected that this number will be continuously growing with more publications in future.

Date 
četrtek, 3 Januar, 2019
Name of action 

Promotion posters in bus stations across Lithuania

The cooperation with bus stations within Lithuania has continued and presented a great opportunity to spread the idea of the campaign even more widely. Posters with a message to fasten a seatbelt during the trip with coaches are now currently displayed in all 51 bus stations in Lithuania.

Date 
ponedeljek, 1 April, 2019 to sreda, 29 Maj, 2019
Name of action 

Student’s questionnaire

Students are one of the main users of coach services in Lithuania. Many of them use this type of transport when travelling home from their university cities. Having this in mind, LTSA has decided to put extra emphasis on this group of people.

An in-depth questionnaire with several questions will be presented to students from different cities to evaluate their tendencies of traveling, their ideas on seat belts in coaches and their reasoning behind their habits when traveling.

The questionnaire should raise the awareness of students and at the same time provide useful information for LTSA to explore possible options and methods for further campaigning. The results will be used to prepare relevant information for students during the educational campaign in universities.

Date 
torek, 14 Maj, 2019
Name of action 

Bus driver‘s memo

Results of initial investigations and the feedback received during the beginning of the campaign has showed the importance of a bus driver in this context. A quick reminder for a driver (a sticker on the driver’s panel) to inform passengers to fasten their seat belts as it plays a big role and may positively impact the decision of those who are travelling. To ensure that this reminder becomes a norm for bus drivers, LTSA is planning to prepare a short memo with all the information needed and main procedure on how to approach a passenger.

Date 
sobota, 1 Junij, 2019 to ponedeljek, 30 September, 2019
Name of action 

Passengers‘ leaflet

Similarly, to the memo of the driver, passengers will also be reminded to fasten their seat belts once they enter the bus. A leaflet with all the necessary information, importance of seat belts, possible dangers and practical scenarios will be present for the passengers in the coaches in front of their seats. This initiative should lead to the increased awareness of current issue and could serve as a daily reminder to form a positive habit for dozens of passengers every day. It is also expected to have these passengers’ leaflets to be provided at bus stations when travelers are getting their tickets.

Date 
ponedeljek, 1 April, 2019 to ponedeljek, 30 September, 2019
Name of action 

Interactive presentations in the educational institutions

LTSA has always cooperated with schools, kindergartens and other educational institutions on the topics of transport safety. Presentations related to railway safety, pedestrian requirements and rules have always been shared with teachers from different cities of Lithuania. This year these topics also expanded with a specific focus on seat belts in coaches. Interactive presentations have been and are planned to be presented in various schools, kindergartens. The presentations will also be available for teachers who will be able to share it with their pupils.

Is there a plan for continuing these activities in the coming years? 
Yes, the goal for this year – 20 % of passengers fastening their seat belts is only the beginning. The major goal of the campaign is to reach a status where everyone is fastening their seatbelts during their trips with coaches.
How did you disseminate/are you disseminating results or how did you promote/are you promoting your initiative? 
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. 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. 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. 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.
How did you evaluate/are you evaluating the success of your action? 
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.
Who carried/carries out the evaluation activities? 
External evaluation
Internal evaluation
Name of the external evaluator 
Evluation is also carried by Lithuanian Police
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