We all know exercising is healthy. Yet during the dark months of the year, children (and parents) are less inclined to walk or bike to school. Helm Op Fluo Top ensures that this is encouraged and that it can be done safely.

Helm Op Fluo Top is the biggest visibility campaign in Flanders, and it really makes a difference. In the dark, you are visible to other drivers from 150 meters away if you wear reflective clothing or accessories. And a bicycle helmet can reduce the risk of serious head injury in an accident or crash by as much as 60%!


Come fall each year, the Helm On Fluo Top campaign is held in elementary schools across Flanders. 
By wearing a high visability jacket and/or a helmet on their way to school, pupils collect stickers and can save up for both individual and class rewards such as discounts to amusement parks, the zoo or a subtropical swimming pool as an added incentive.

However, it involved a lot of administrative work for schools, teachers and VSV (a Flemish foundation for traffic science). The action required miles of paper, and pupils who lose their savings cards became demotivated.

And so in 2021, VSV asked us to think about an online variant which preserved the power of the (social) reward mechanism.

Concept development

For this, we developed a digital concept where we found answers to a number of challenges. 

For example, we had to look for a new kind of "reward moment" to keep pupils motivated. In the paper version, this reward moment was quite individual. We were looking for a way to make this more social as a fun classroom moment. Whereby at the start of the day the students can immediately see together how far they are from the common goal (e.g. going to the amusement park together). The students themselves can enter their score for the day on the smartboard. After entry, a countdown announces the class score. So we actually reward behavior by "nudging". 

We introduced milestone badges and designed them in line with the age and interests of this young target group. They provided a whole new game element that the paper version did not have.

The milestones come in different variations:

  • Came to school wearing high vis for the first time
  • Came to school with a helmet 25 times
  • For a whole week, everyone in class came to school wearing a high visability jacket or helmet
  • First time scoring class points

This way, there is a lot of variety around the same theme. During the three month period of the campaign, it remains fun for both children and teachers.

Of course, we also came up with a solution for children who cannot participate. Because they simply live too far from school to come by bike or on foot. We also found a way to involve the parents a bit more as they often determine how children come to school.

Realization and testing

Helm Op Fluo Top is a digital platform with different screens for teachers as students. The UX for students is playful and intuitively designed. The environment for teachers is functional and clear. They can manage their own class, add and remove students. The platform is optimized for a smartboard, but also works great on tablets or smartphones which greatly increases accessability and ease of use.

The game gives teachers room to flesh out Helm Op Fluo Top their way.
One teacher could choose to do everything in class, while an other teacher keeps tabs on the score himself with his smartphone by the entrance of the schoolyard.

During the development of the application we performed user tests at a school, where our developers and UX designers observed usage and received feedback. Then, in the first year, a limited number of schools were given access in the form of a beta test that was successfully completed. After that, all schools could choose whether to use the paper or digital version. As of fall 2023, a majority of the 1,631 participating elementary schools preferred the digital version.

Behavioral change starts at home

To encourage even more students for the next edition, we looked to parents. Because children cannot always choose to go to school by bike or on foot. Through a unique code, we give each student access to a personal rewards page that also allows them to show their progress to parents at home. This introduced another extra 'nudging' moment to make the subject discussable at home as well as just at school. This way, we can also help children convince their parents to take the bike or walk to school more often.

"The digital control system is great to use. It's so much faster than using stickers!"

Elfi, kindergarten teacher  
Primary school De Parel, Mechelen
1.631 participating schools in 2023

420.168 pupils reached

9.765 teachers assisted

Helm Op Fluo Top is an initiative of the VSV in cooperation with the Flemish government and numerous partners. Learn all about it at helmopfluotop.be.

Need to know more? Get in touch.

Miech Rolly
Creative director

+32 3 226 34 49
+32 476 34 60 33

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