Each year, children travel to and from school almost 200 times. And with so many parents dropping off and picking up their children every day, there is often dangerous traffic congestion around schools. This is why it’s important for schools to implement safety measures such as Scholar Patrol and traffic calming to enhance the safety of children and motorists.
The Safety Patrol Program was started by the American Automobile Association (AAA) in 1920. Boys, when they reached the sixth grade, would be screened for the proper character traits and then trained in safety and put to use. Today, a similar programme is used in South Africa, in which learner patrollers guide fellow learners and prevent them from entering traffic when it is unsafe.
Scholar Patrol not only enhances the safety of children at school, but also plays an important role in teaching them about road safety and responsibility.
Children who take part in Scholar Patrol set a good example and encourage all learners to observe the rules of safety. They are also responsible for ensuring they report to duty on time and with the proper equipment and attire.
Traffic calming measures such as speed humps, raised pedestrian crossings and mini-circles, slow motor vehicles to improve safety for pedestrians.
For schools, high visibility speed bumps/humps and signs are the best way to indicate to drivers to reduce their speeds. These are accompanied by road signs to alert drivers about the road hump ahead and to caution them to slow down.
If your school needs to install traffic calming measures, it’s important to go through the correct channels, as erecting non-compliant speed humps without following due application and approval process is illegal. Rather contact your local municipality to find out how to apply for traffic calming measures.
With proper programmes and infrastructure in place, effective road safety is possible in and around high traffic school areas. Appointing a portfolio to a particular individual or setting up a school safety committee helps to ensure that safety efforts are being regularly assessed and improved. Learners, parents and staff need to work together to keep schools safe.