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2018-11-15 06:01

ALMOST 3000 children are killed on South African roads due to reckless driving.

This is according to research conducted by the Childsafe organisation. The organisation started a pilot project in Cape Town called safety routes aimed at promoting children’s safety.

KZN representative of Childsafe, Daan den Hollander said preventative measures have to come into place to ensure that children are not killed on South African roads.

“The big problem that we face as the country is that we lose about 3000 children in South Africa annually in road accidents. Children attending preschools are mostly vulnerable and I think as the community we should start taking children into account and ensure that they are safe,” den Hollander said.

In Verulam two children were injured after a driver drove over them on Quarry Road, Redcliffe while they were walking home.

The pupils who are in Grade 5 and 7 were treated for serious injuries at the scene.

Paramedics from Reaction Unit South Africa stabilised both pupils and transported them to Osindisweni Hospital.

“We are currently pushing to have programmes for the KZN province that will educate the people about children’s safety on the road. Motorists must avoid driving recklessly especially near schools.

“In Cape Town our organisation started another campaign to educate pupils about the importance of putting safety belts. We hope that once this pilot project will expand to other areas as well,” den Hollander said.

In August this year, Childsafe launched a campaign called “safer streets for children”.

The aim of the campaign was to raise an awareness about dangers that children face every day on the road.

“We encourage drivers to take precautionary measures and avoid aggressive [reckless] driving,” den Hollander added.

Childsafe said most of the children are “injured or killed on SA roads are passengers and pedestrians as a direct result of reckless or negligent driring drivers who drive too fast, drunk of take risky decisions on the road.”

Principal from Victoria Primary Lajeeth Maharaj said the school has implemented a safety programme aimed at keeping pupils safety.

“We have initiated a safety programme at school to look after those pupils using transport to get home. We keep them inside the school until their transport come to pick them from school. In doing so, we intend to avoid road accidents that occur when children are on the road. Through this programme the school has managed to alleviate road accidents.”

Maharaj said aded that the issue of school security is a major concern to school principals.

“The fact that 80% of my pupils come by public transport. At dismissal times in and around our schools there is much increased vehicles and pupils. Thembi Khuzwayo and Jabu Masango have been doing a sterling job in ensuring that our children are safe and secured after school. I am also grateful to my staff who have volunteered to work after school hours to do duty in taking care of our pupils. School security should be made a priority by our government. We cannot compromise on the safety of our children,” Maharaj said.

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