Road safety is paramount as schools open

YESTERDAY marked the start of the 2019 school term and with it comes the rigours of another busy year for children, parents and teachers alike.

However, as we all brace ourselves for endless lunch boxes, school shuttling, homework and activities, spare a thought for those youngsters who will no longer sit behind a school desk.

“The hopes for a prosperous future for our nation lies in their hands. However, their potential will never be realised if their dreams are dashed due to becoming another road crash statistic,” said Road Accident Fund (Raf) acting chief executive officer Lindelwa Xingwana-Jabavu.

“Besides highlighting the importance of cautious, responsible driving, the Road Accident Fund seeks to raise awareness about child deaths in car crashes by promoting the use of child restraints and educating children about their own safety while practising good habits,” he said.

Some parents still allow their children to travel in unlicensed school shuttles, while certain motorists of these vehicles continue to drive recklessly. These drivers need to ensure that the young lives entrusted to them remain safe by not speeding, not driving without seat belts, or texting while driving, a message that underpins the Raf’s #AlwaysRemember road safety campaign.

Over the holiday period, the Raf took its #AlwaysRemember initiative a step further by joining hands with emergency services personnel. Together with tow-truck drivers, police, medical staff, ambulance and fire personnel who were out in full force over the holidays, and continue to do sterling work throughout the year, a huge appeal to be wary was made to the public. “Please be careful on the roads; let’s not meet by accident,” it said.

Emergency workers know first-hand how car crashes ruin lives, especially young ones. “The Raf then has to help car crash victims and their families pick up the pieces by facilitating compensation and rehabilitation due to injuries sustained from these accidents, some of which often result in death,” said Xingwana-Jabavu.

“We want to prevent accidents and save lives. The Raf appeals to all transport drivers, passengers, pedestrians and parents to act responsibly when they use the road as schools open. Do not become another road crash statistic in 2019.”

Road safety is the collective responsibility of all road users and it is imperative that we all play our part in reducing accidents and fatalities. — Supplied.

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