Stay alert, stay alive - Back to school road safety

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Children crossing the road (MotorPress)
Children crossing the road (MotorPress)

• Most schools across the country have reopened this week.

• This means schoolchildren are back and traveling to school via public transport. 

• MasterDrive's Eugene Herbert looks at three main situations that children need to be aware of drivers. 

Most schools reopened this week so it's a good idea to teach children how to cross the road and remind returning students about road safety. 

It's very important for children to understand how to cross a road or navigate traffic. Many of them travel on public transport to get to school. 

New children are not accustomed to the road's vehicles and rules, the onus falls on drivers to think for the child and ensure that no tragic accidents happen.

The managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says three situations involve children that drivers need to be aware of.

unsplash school bus
unsplash school bus

Children obstructed by public transport

When being dropped off, children can easily be hidden from view by the transport vehicles.

"Additionally, they are likely to dart out across the road without checking for oncoming traffic. When approaching public transport, particularly near schools or school transport, slow down as much as possible, double-check before moving around the vehicle and be prepared for a child popping out unexpectedly," Herbert says.

Schoolchildren traveling to school on bicycles

Children who cycle to school may swerve into the road or make mistakes that could prove fatal if a driver is not prepared for it.

"Give young cyclists a berth of over 2m and slow down when passing them. Expect children cycling in a group of friends to act more recklessly and be prepared for the unexpected.

"There will also be more children walking to and from school and likely to make mistakes by misjudging the speed and distance of a vehicle when crossing the road. Instead, the driver needs to make decisions that make allowance for mistakes and misjudgement from the child."

unsplash kids next to road
unsplash kids next to road

Obey the road rules

While not condoned by MasterDrive, driving at precisely the speed limit in a school zone when schools are closed may not be as dangerous. "

When, however, you do the same thing when children have returned to school, it is reckless and exceedingly dangerous. MasterDrive recommends driving 30km/h or less at all times when around a school.

"Respect the road rules and give scholar patrols the respect they deserve in ensuring that no child's chance to get an education is ripped from them in an accident."

As children return to school (parents are thankful) and drivers should be cautious. "Ensure you do not make a reckless decision that can have a lasting impact on many lives," says Herbert.

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