High schools to compete in national road safety education competition
Three high schools will represent the Western Cape in the Participatory Educational Techniques (PET) national competition from 1-7 October 2017 in North West.
On 29 July 2017, Nomzamo High School (urban category winner), Groenberg Secondary School, Grabouw (rural category) and Batavia Special Skill School, Claremont (disability category) were chosen from the competing schools at a provincial event arranged by the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works. The event gave young people an opportunity to express their views on road safety, and to actively contribute to solving road safety problems in their communities.
The competition is a technology transfer project aimed at shaping healthy learner attitudes towards road safety through participatory education. The project challenges learners from Grade 10 and 11 to identify road safety problems in their communities and to find research-based solutions. Competing schools were adjudicated on:
- the quality of their models (displays), and
- their presentations on research-based solutions to road safety problems in their communities.
The learners from Nomzamo identified potholes, too few sidewalks, too few designated pedestrian crossings, jaywalking, and speeding as factors accounting for road traffic fatalities and injuries in the area. Their proposed solutions include widening roads, installing streetlights, building speed humps and rumble strips, increasing manual speed enforcement operations, and promoting road safety awareness in public places.
Pedestrian deaths in Grabouw are a real concern and urgent attention is needed, according to learners from Groenberg. They said that sidewalks are in a poor state, road signs are not visible in certain areas, and that minibus taxi drivers have no regard for traffic laws and endanger the lives of others. They recommended new infrastructure to make pedestrians safer, increased visibility of traffic officers, and regular road safety awareness and education activities at schools and in the community.
Etienne de Villiers, deputy principal of Batavia Special Skill School, says it was an uplifting experience for the learners to compete for the first time in a competition of this nature. “Despite their learning and intellectual disabilities, our learners have shown their willingness to find solutions and act as road safety ambassadors. They will now be able to have a direct influence on their peers and increase awareness,” he said.
The Department’s road safety officers and architects will be assisting the schools in the next few weeks to prepare them for the PET national competition.