Safety rules for pupils

2016-06-02 06:00
Safe Schools project was launched at Isikhokhelo Primary School in Site C on Thursday. PHOTO: mbongiseni maseko

Safe Schools project was launched at Isikhokhelo Primary School in Site C on Thursday. PHOTO: mbongiseni maseko

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A road safety project for learners going to and from school was launched at Isikhokhelo Primary School in Site C last Thursday.

The second phase of the Safe Schools project is a pioneering approach to road safety, introducing safe road infrastructure to protect school children combined with road safety education and awareness for children and teachers.

It was launched in partnership with Childsafe South Africa and the City of Cape Town Traffic Services, Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works and Road Traffic Management Cooperation (RTMC).

The project is primarily funded with a donation from IVECO South Africa.

It has been made possible through global support for road projects which is part of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.

Yoliswa Qomoyi, the school principal, was full of praise for the project and said it will benefit the children.

“Our learners have to cross busy streets as we are situated not far from a taxi rank. Some taxi drivers do not obey the rules of the road which makes it dangerous for learners and also for elders to cross the road.

We worry a lot when one learner does not pitch for school, and we ask ourselves if the learner was not caught up in an accident on the way to school.”

Qomoyi said in 2013 a learner was hit by a car while crossing the street and died, and another was rushed to hospital after being hit by a car, but survived.

Professor Van As, president of Childsafe South Africa, said he sees “a lot” of children at Red Cross hospital who have been involved in car accidents almost every day.

“Most of the children who come to the hospital have been knocked down by cars at the most. It is important that children are adequately educated about road safety,” Van As said.

Daniela Ropolo, Sustainable Development Initiatives Manager at IVECO, said it is the “right of the children to be safe on the road.”

Hlomla Myendeki, a learner read a children’s declaration on road safety, which highlighted what they would like to see happen.

Myendeki appealed with the authorities to curb drunk driving, speeding and to tighten the laws for the drivers who disobey the law.

“Our voices must be heard. We have a right to be safe all the time,” Mnyendeki added.

Mpho Mokhatso, of RTMC, said the deaths of children on the road are robbing the country of future leaders.

“We need to make sure that no life is lost unnecessarily. We need to work together. I hope by working together we will ensure that we save the lives of children,” Mokhatso said.

Ntombi Kulati, of RAF applauded the project. It is a great initiative. It is not nice to see children being involved in an accident,” Kulati said.

Siwe Coka, of Khayelitsha Road and Safety Forum, said the intended aim can be reached only if children are involved in the project.

“We need to involve them so they will tell us what type of safety they want. We need to take road safety as a critical issue and as a human right,” Coka said.

Francois Lubbe, of Western Cape Education Department, said he was “very excited” for the project; a basic human right.

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