The road safety concerns of Grade 11 learners at Simon’s Town High School led to them winning the Western Cape Road Safety Management Participatory Education Techniques (PET) competition and they will now present their problems and solutions at the national competition this week in Benoni.
“The learners identified three types of problems that are the causes of motor vehicle accidents in and around the school perimeter. The types of problems are human related, road related, socioeconomic and demographic issues,” says Tania Chetty, spokesperson for the school.
Learners are dropped off daily on the opposite side of the road by taxi drivers that do not take the safety of the learners into consideration. “There is a lack of use of the pedestrian crossing by our learners and there is also a lack of traffic signs indicating to the drivers that they are entering a school zone,” Chetty says.
According to her the school established its first scholar patrol on Monday 23 July and they have made a few observations about the behaviour of learners crossing the road to the entrance of the school.
“We concluded that an adult or teacher needs to be on duty to put safety measures in place especially when the primary school section leaves the premises. Learners do not always listen or follow the rules set by the scholar patrol. We had a road safety assembly with the foundation phase of the primary school, giving them exposure to road safety, as well as educating them on the rules of the road,” she says.
The road safety project was initiated by the Department of Transport and Public Works in the City of Cape Town and was open to all schools.
“As the PET youth initiative, the learners have identified a few major concerns in and around our school pertaining to road safety. They classified these as areas of concern for the safety of our learners and inevitably that could impact the broader community of Simon’s Town as well,” Chetty says.
As the Road Safety provincial winners, the team has accumulated data and statistics on road safety, and constructed a layout of the areas of concern and proposals for solutions, to use as evidence for the PET project that they have to present for the National Road Safety Competition, which started yesterday (Monday 1 October) and runs until Saturday 6 October.
The PET team met with ward councillor Simon Liell-Cock and discussed areas of concern and suggested proposals for possible solutions. The ongoing support and assistance of Liell-Cock is highly appreciated.
“With the findings and implementation of real solutions, the PET team believes that our learners will feel safer arriving at and departing from school whether it’s by foot, private or even public transport.
“Their proposed solutions to these problems evolved around education, engineering, enforcement and evaluation and that is what they will present in Benoni. The group will be accompanied by Lucresia Harrison, a teacher,” Chetty says.