Junior Traffic Training Centre to teach Simondium learners better road safety
“With this Junior Traffic Training Centre (JTTC), we aim to reduce the risk of road crashes like the one in March last year which claimed the life of an eight-year old learner of this school.”
These were the words of Al-Ameen Kafaar of the Department of Transport and Public Works Directorate: Road Safety Management (RSM) at the opening of the JTTC at Simondium Primary School in Paarl on 27 February 2020.
Other speakers at the event were the school principal Mrs L Matthee, school safety officer Mr J van Rooyen, and the head of the foundation phase Miss L Don. Representatives of Drakenstein Municipality’s traffic and engineering departments were also in attendance.
Child pedestrians are a particularly vulnerable group. Simondium Primary is situated next to the busy R45 between Paarl and Franschoek. Learners living in Groot Drakenstein and the informal settlement at Pniel have to cross the R45 to get to school. Learners who reside on farms along the R45 as well as on farms along the Simondium/ Klapmuts road walk to school in dangerous conditions. About 90 learners walk to the school from Klapmuts every day. Bjorn Mouton died after being knocked down by a car in front of the school. Another learner, Edwina Beukes, was injured after being hit by a car while walking to school.
JTTCs are small-scale simulated road environments built at primary schools to teach children about road safety in a play environment. This programme of the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) is implemented in the Western Cape by RSM. Road markings are painted on cement or tarmac slabs and small-scale road signs are supplied to participating schools.
The JTTC will serve about 724 learners from Grade R to Grade 7. Enabling children like Bjorn and Edwina to learn good road safety habits at an early age will help keep them safe.