This morning (8 February 2016), the Department of Transport and Public Works recognised Darling school teacher Maud Paulsen (54) for her outstanding contribution to child road safety in the Western Cape. For 20 years, she has been the Vooruitsig Primary School’s scholar patrol coordinator. Provincial Traffic Services gave her a gift basket, a certificate of appreciation and a branded departmental gift as tokens of appreciation.
Child pedestrians are one of the most vulnerable road user groups. Ongoing education efforts in schools are a targeted way of raising road safety awareness amongst children. Scholar patrols are another critical enhancement of learner safety. They regulate traffic, slow down vehicles, and facilitate safe crossing. Teachers like Ms Paulsen support the efforts of traffic authorities to instil awareness among schoolchildren of the importance of road safety.
Ms Paulsen says promoting road safety involving learners is close to her heart.
“The school efforts are yielding results as no incidents of injuries and/or deaths were reported since the scholar patrol’s inception. I want to thank all the learners who formed the backbone of this programme over the years. They have been ambassadors for road safety since leaving the school,” she said.
Paddy Attwell, spokesperson for the Western Cape Education Department (WCED), says schools have a long history of collaboration with provincial traffic authorities on road safety, including support for scholar patrols.
“Ms Paulsen provides an excellent example of this association. We appreciate her contribution deeply and are pleased to add our thanks for everything she has done to help ensure the safety of learners at Vooruitsig Primary School,” he said.
The Department conducts regular surveys in order to identify any shortcomings in scholar patrol programmes, as well as the need for structural interventions to make roads safer. Where there are problems such as a lack of adequate road signs and markings, these will quickly be addressed. Traffic calming measures will be considered in appropriate circumstances.