Show children good road safety habits #SaveKidsLives
Children die on South Africa’s roads every day. Good road safety habits play an important part in saving these young lives and harnessing the positive potential they hold for the future.
The Department of Transport and Public Works (DTPW) urges teachers, parents and all others who are taking care of children in the Western Cape to promote child road safety. Let’s all set an example of good road safety behaviour through our actions and our words. Please ensure that child pedestrians wear high-visibility clothing, especially when they walk near roads or use public or school transport. This is especially important during misty and rainy days in winter, and in the early morning when visibility is poor.
Communities and individuals can apply to their local municipality to have traffic calming measures put in place near schools such as lower speed limits, and the installation of speed bumps and appropriate road signs. Some places are more dangerous for children than others. Townships often do not have sidewalks or safe recreation facilities, which means that children often walk and play in the street. About 75% of Western Cape road fatalities involving children aged ten years and younger take place in greater Cape Town, and almost all the children killed are from poorer communities. The worst affected areas are Khayelitsha, Philippi, Delft, Nyanga, Mfuleni and Kraaifontein-Wallacedene.
DTPW Road Safety Management does ongoing work to improve child road safety. This includes educational initiatives at schools for teachers and learners, information and exhibition stands at community events, the implementation of scholar patrols at identified schools, driver and pedestrian awareness events, and events featuring our road safety mascot Danny Cat.
Tips for keeping children safe
- Make sure that children are well versed in the rules of the road, particularly when it comes to crossing the street safely.
- Encourage children to cross the street at designated crossing points wherever possible. Encourage them to look right, left and right again before they cross a road, even if the pedestrian traffic light is green.
- Make sure that children stay away from freeways.
- Encourage child pedestrians to wear high-visibility clothing, especially when visibility is poor.
- Discourage children from wearing earphones or headphones when walking. It is important to be able to hear any approaching vehicles, especially when crossing a road.
In October, the Department of Transport and Public Works will focus on child road safety and look at ways of implementing these measures in our communities and schools #SaveKidsLives.