Cycling Embassy of Denmark)
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.
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.
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.
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.