Keeping children safe on our roads this school holiday
Western Cape school children will enjoy a well-deserved break from 5 December 2019. This will give them time to take advantage of various school holiday programmes.
Children tend to spend more time on the roads during school holidays as passengers, cyclists and pedestrians.
More play time outside: Child pedestrian safety
On warmer days, children often choose to play outside. They may also walk to where they want to go instead of being driven there.
Safely Home highlights the importance of child safety on the roads through its #SaveKidsLives campaign.
Child visibility road safety tips:
- Make sure pedestrians, especially child pedestrians, are highly visible to motorists.
- Insist that children wear bright, reflective clothing, especially those under the age of ten.
- Glo-sticks are potentially lifesaving devices for children because they are so visible to motorists. You may find that your children are receptive to wearing them.
- Reflective patches, ponchos, hats and umbrellas can help save lives because they make pedestrians and cyclists more visible to motorists.
Read more about child road safety on Safely Home’s website.
Motorists are advised that there will be more child pedestrians during this time and are asked to be extra cautious, drive slowly, and ensure that all their car lights are working.
Road trip child passenger safety
Many Western Cape families take a break during the school holidays. We encourage parents and caregivers to drive responsibly and ensure that all children are buckled up at all times. To avoid frustration, take into account that there may be roadblocks on the way.
- Improving road safety through roadblocks
- Plan your road trip these school holidays
- Be patient around roadworks
Children under the age of three years must be secured in an appropriate car seat. It’s the law and the responsible thing to do.
- Read more on the car seat law.
Keeping children occupied in a vehicle can mitigate the risk of distracted driving.
The Automobile Association (AA) website gives the following useful tips for keeping child passengers occupied:
- Games and puzzles.
- Snack packs.
- Rest stops.
- Movies on portable car movie players.
Read more about how to keep children occupied on the AA website.
Children on public transport
The holidays give children the opportunity to experience the sights and sounds of the Western Cape through public transport. Bus trips are a favourite amongst children and their safety must be a top priority.
Arrive Alive gives some useful tips to adults travelling with children on a bus:
- Always leave the bus with children in front of you, never behind.
- If you are travelling with small children, make sure they are well supervised.
- Board the bus with your children so you know where they are on the vehicle.
- Prepare your children for emergencies, especially young children who might struggle to communicate. Make sure they carry a means of identification, contact information for next of kin and the relevant medical fund, and information about any allergies and medical conditions.
- Be aware that children may find it difficult to cross a busy road. They can often be seen crossing in front of or behind a bus after getting off. Take the necessary steps to keep children safe.
Read more about bus passenger safety on Arrive Alive’s website.