September 2nd, 2016
There are many voices which are not being capable of being heard, children’s voices are one of them. In Norway, researchers found a way to let children’s voices be heard while at the same time improving rod safety and the environment.
In Oslo, Norway, A new app has been created to give children the chance to give in their opinions. Two years ago, Vibeke Rørholt, who worked on traffic safety in Norway, had to find a way to make all children of Norway choose to walk or cycle to school, there was no other way to do so than to ask them directly.
The app was named “The Traffic Agent App”, and its main goal is to ban private cars from the centre of Oslo by the year 2019 as part of its mission to halve greenhouse gas emissions.
With a large amount of funding from the city, The Research Council of Norway needed to find ways to let parents feel comfortable and safe for their children to walk to school. The best way to do that, thought Rørholt, was through this app where children act as “secret agents” and send immediate reports while they are walking to school. If they have any troubles on the road, they directly send a report, and because of the app tracking their GPS, researches can directly know where these hazards were located.
Rørholt shows her enthusiasm towards this app, saying that children are being active and responsive. She gave an example of a child who sent a report about some bushes on the streets that prevented him from seeing well when crossing the road, and two days later the bushes were cut. There are many other examples where authorities took the reports of children in action, such as building many crossings and pavements.
The Director of Oslo Municipality is working on spreading this app all throughout Norway and not just the capital, and hopefully soon will be able to increase the number of schools participating in it.