Road safety in spotlight

2019-03-12 06:00

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has urged learners to be cautious when crossing public roads.

The appeal follows an accident on Tuesday 5 March where two Grade 12 learners from Harold Cressy High School were allegedly knocked down by a Golden Arrow Bus.

The learners were crossing the busy Darling Street in the morning on their way to school.

The bus was going towards Woodstock. The learners were taken to Groote Schuur Hospital.

Jessica Shelver, spokesperson for provincial minister Debbie Schafer, said the department, in collaboration with local authorities and other agencies, is involved in various initiatives to ensure road safety around schools.

“Road safety forms part of the Life Skills curriculum. The Grade R curriculum warns children about dangerous places to play, including roads,” she said.

Shelver said topics that fall under Road Safety in Grade 2 include rules for road safety, pedestrians, cyclists and passengers, road signs for pedestrians and cyclists, scholar patrols and how traffic officials operate.

Grades 3, 4 and 11 also fall under the grades that receive training on Road Safety rules.

She said that schools develop road safety plans relevant to their appointment of scholar patrols, rules on dropping off learners, exiting from buses and approaching and leaving the school premises.

“Teachers normally monitor the arrival and departure of learners, especially Foundation Phase learners, to ensure that they follow school rules on road safety at the opening and closing times.”

Shelver explained that City traffic authorities have worked with schools and the department for years to train and educate children, including scholar patrols.

“In our experience, schools are hyperalert to road safety issues around their schools. Nevertheless, citizens are welcome to raise these concerns with the school principal, who will take it further.”

Harold Cressy High’s principal Khalid Isaacs said that it was tragic that the accident involved learners.

He said he was informed about the incident in the morning and after asking every teacher to see if all learners were in their classes, they investigated further.

“We then offered the parents and learners who were affected by the accident support. The two learners were stabilised and are recovering well in hospital,” he said.

Golden Arrow spokesperson Bronwen Dyke-Beyer said the company was made aware of the incident and the driver was sent to a general practitioner.

“He is booked off work while he is being treated. A social worker is available to provide trauma counselling and other assistance,” she said.

Dyke-Beyer said Golden Arrow will provide the required forms for a claim to be lodged with the Road Accident Fund.

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