ChildSafe SA reiterates call for 30km/h speed around schools after child was run over in Cape Town

The Grade 1 learner attended Wespoort Primary School in Mitchells Plain. File Picture: Junior Bester/Independent Newspapers

The Grade 1 learner attended Wespoort Primary School in Mitchells Plain. File Picture: Junior Bester/Independent Newspapers

Published Jan 30, 2024


ChildSafe South Africa said it will continue to advocate for the 30km/h speed restriction around schools after a Grade 1 learner died after being hit by a vehicle at a school in Cape Town.

Six-year-old Arkash Okwan Mpayipheli from Langa died outside the gates of Wespoort Primary in Mitchells Plain while waiting for his transport on Thursday, January 25.

A witness who spoke to Weekend Argus said the transport driver waited opposite the school and hooted for the boy to come over.

The child ran across the road and was hit by a vehicle. He collapsed on the pavement and died on the scene.

“We continue to advocate for the 30 km/ h speed restriction around schools as well as environmental modifications that influence driver behaviour to adhere to slower speeds in school areas,” ChildSafe spokesperson, Zaitoon Rabaney, said.

“Equipping our children and their families with the necessary knowledge and skills to navigate roads safely is paramount. Through educational programs, campaigns, and targeted outreach efforts, we can foster a lasting positive impact on the safety culture within our city.”

She emphasised various factors contribute to the increased risk such as inadequate road infrastructure, a lack of supervision, and the necessity for many children to walk as their primary means of transport.

“It is imperative that interventions are implemented to make walking safer, ultimately reducing the vulnerability of pedestrians, especially children. Traffic calming measures and comprehensive road safety strategies have become an urgent necessity,” Rabaney said.

She said the recent incident now underscores the urgency to fast-track traffic calming and other ancillary methods to address the pressing concerns of traffic-related incidents that pose a significant safety risk to all community, particularly children.

“The report released by the Road Traffic Management Corporation stated that 12,436 South Africans died in road crashes, with 10.2% of the fatalities listed as children up to 14 years old,” Rabaney said.

“This alarming statistic highlights the urgent need for comprehensive road safety measures, particularly those focused on protecting our most vulnerable road users - children.”

Police confirmed a case of culpable homicide has been opened for investigation.

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