Friday, October 01, 2021

WC Premier & Transport MEC launched Transport Month in Belhar

October is Transport Month. It was launched by Government in 2005 as a call to action for members of the public to use public transport in order to address the challenges of traffic congestion on our roads.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde and Transport and Public Works MEC, Daylin Mitchell, officially launched October Transport Month on Friday by establishing a Junior Traffic Training Centre (JTTC) at Belhar Primary School.

JTTCs are a programme implemented by the Directorate: Road Safety Management (RSM) on behalf of the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC). It is aimed at teaching primary school learners about safe mobility in traffic and imparting road safety education in a play-environment, without exposing learners to the dangers of real traffic situations.

In a joint statement, Winde & Mitchell says they chose Belhar Primary School as it is surrounded by busy roads such as Old Stellenbosch Road and Erica Drive.

According to Forensic Pathology statistics, 51 pedestrians were killed in the Belhar, Delft and Ravensmead areas from October 2019 until June 2021.  This means approximately 3 people are killed in this area every month or one person is killed every ten days.

‘’In many developing areas such as Belhar, most children are pedestrians who walk to school or use public transport. This significantly increases their exposure to traffic hazards. There’s a huge need to educate children about road safety,’’ read the statement.

During this month, the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works will observe and advance road safety initiatives, showcase transport infrastructure services and create awareness across the province of transport related issues.

Schools can make a request for a JTTC or a traffic authority can recommend the establishment of it. It can be set up at a school or in a community where a large enough concrete or tarmac slab is to be found. RSM supplies the paint, brushes, mini road signs and other equipment needed once a request for the establishment of a JTTC has been approved.

 Mitchell says he’s concerned about the high number of killings on Western Cape roads

“I am concerned with the high number of pedestrians that are killed on our roads. Our main drive for this kind of an intervention is the ongoing road accident statistics which shows young pedestrians as the most critical road user group involved within the province… Often young pedestrians are left alone by adults to attempt to cross busy and dangerous roads on their own. Parents and caregivers in many cases over-estimate the capabilities of learners. Young pedestrians are very vulnerable to road crashes if left unattended in traffic.’’

“It is critical to educate young children about road safety as they contribute to the high number of pedestrian fatalities that are recorded every week. The JTTC programme is for every school in the province, but the main focus is given to low- and middle-income groups where most of these injuries and fatalities occur and are located in and around pedestrian hazardous locations,” added Mitchell.

Premier Alan Winde asked citizens to abide by the rules of the road

 “The Western Cape Government is committed to ensuring that each person in our province can enjoy a safe commute, whether walking, cycling, using public transport, or driving. It was a privilege to join Minister Mitchell today for the Junior Traffic Centre Launch at Belhar Primary, where we focused on pedestrian safety – particularly of our learners. As we commemorate transport month this October, let us continue to be mindful on our roads at all times, whether we are the driver or the pedestrian.”

 

PICTURE: WCG

Done By: Mitchum George

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