Case study: Chill out & look about
Chill Out & Look About from Frankston High School is a youth-led initiative that aims to improve road safety awareness for all road users. The campaign honours the memory of Dylan Briggs, a student who tragically died while riding his bike home from school in March 2020. Chill Out & Look About were a 2022 Student-Led Project Award Finalist.
Chill Out & Look About (COLA) was launched shortly after Dylan’s passing, by a group of classmates at Frankston High School, with the help of Dylan’s family. The accident was extremely confronting to the entire community, and it was quickly decided that change was crucial to prevent any road fatalities from occurring in the future. The current team is made up of students from years 7 to 12.
COLA utilise platforms like social media to convey the urgency of remaining alert when using the roads whether you a cyclist, driver or a passenger in a vehicle, or a pedestrian. The meaning behind COLA is that when using the roads, despite the possibility of getting their late, it is always better to get there safely without stepping into harm’s way. The campaign aims to express that having a safe road environment must be a community effort and no matter how you use the roads, it is important to consider the safety of not only yourself but the people around you.
This initiative works towards creating safer roads for the local, and broader community. They have had the opportunity to spread the campaign’s message through producing bumper stickers and distributing them throughout the community. They act as reminder to be proactive when using the road and to look out for others. There is also a website – www.chilloutandlookabout.org - that contains information about the story, as well as videos which goes into depth about why road safety is so significant in our daily lives.
COLA have had the privilege of gaining support from the local members of parliament and had our story featured in the Herald Sun, Ten News First and A Current Affair.
The team runs social media accounts such as Instagram and Facebook, where they regularly post road safety content. This includes Traffic Tip Tuesdays, interviews with first responders and key members of the community, and updates on current projects. They have been able to work with local police, including acting sergeant Dave Healy, as well as the Assistant Commissioner for Victoria Police, Glenn Weir.
More recently, COLA held a Bunnings sausage sizzle to raise money to support the future of the campaign. They are keen to continue building the initiative to communicate the necessity of being aware, paying attention to the road as well as being conscious of the potential dangers and how to avoid them before they occur. It is their priority to express the significance of road safety in a positive way and enforce safe road use so that no one must deal with the consequences of losing a loved one.
Through COLA, the team have been able to get safety barriers erected where the accident occurred, to ensure this tragedy does not occur again.
Following the launch of the campaign in 2020, COLA have received immense communal support that has helped them exponentially reach various platforms to discuss the importance of road safety. After the tragic passing of their classmate, the community had banded together in honour of Dylan and the campaign. They received donations to a GoFundMe page which allowed them to invest in the growth of the initiative, including videos and posts on social media.
The team created two professional videos; one about Dylan’s story and the impact his loss has had on the community and a second video about the impact of road accidents on the incredible first responders. These videos have been watched and shared thousands of times.
The team launched COLA bumper stickers, which were distributed to the school community as well as anyone who would like one via the website. Supporters of the campaign have placed the bumper sticker on their vehicles to symbolise their support and awareness of road safety. COLA believe by opening the conservation of safe road use in an optimistic way, this will leave lasting impact on people perspectives.
Furthermore, members from the COLA team presented at an International Women’s Day breakfast and at Teenage Road Accident Group (TRAG) events to over a dozen local schools. By sharing the story, they believe they have made an impact on the lives of young people and have reminded them on the importance to stay safe and think of others while on the road. Their local MP, Peta Murphy, shared the story in parliament, which helped to spread the message.
Lastly, through the ongoing support from fellow classmates, teachers, parents, local MPs, first responders and more, the team have been given the chance to empower fellow youth to use their voice to enact positive change within the community.
In the near future, they have the goal of becoming an official charity, which will help to open new avenues for COLA. With the support from those around them, the team can continue to grow and communicate the magnitude of road safety to broader communities. COLA has allowed for people to see the urgency behind being safe as a road user, and they are grateful to those who have helped build the campaign.
For more information, and to support Chill Out & Look About:
@chilloutlookabout on Instagram
@chilloutandlookabout on Facebook
This case study is drawn from VicSRC's Student Voice Awards, an annual celebration of best practice student voice, amplifying the important contribution of students to Victorian education and acting as a catalyst for change within Victorian schools.