Cape Town - At the start of the new school year, the City’s safety and security directorate says it will be keeping a closer eye on transport this year in an effort to safeguard school-going children as they travel to and from their schools.
Safety and security Mayco member JP Smith made the announcement this week, stating that traffic officials will take to the roads throughout the year to ensure the compliance and safety of scholar transport vehicles.
He said: “Children going back to school is an exciting and often daunting time for learners and parents. Many do not have the luxury of dropping their children off personally and rely on the services of public transport operators and those who provide dedicated scholar transport.
“Often, children spend a large part of their day in transit, and we have to ensure that they get to school and home safely. Parents, schools, vehicle owners and drivers should work together in this regard.
“Parents must check the credentials of scholar transport operators to make sure that they abide by all of the requirements, but also that their vehicles are indeed fit for the purpose.
“The City’s Traffic Service and its Transport Enforcement Unit (TEU), dedicate considerable resources to monitoring scholar and public transport vehicles,” Smith said.
According to the department, since 2015, the City’s TEU had visited 136 schools, issued 10 414 fines and impounded at least 416 scholar transport vehicles.
“Last year, the unit impounded 18 taxis and issued more than 490 fines for transgressions of the National Land Transportation Act. It’s a sad reality that many parents make transport decisions based on the availability of service providers or price and, while these are very valid considerations, we ask that you please also check the credentials of transport operators before signing up,” said Smith.
Last year in August, one child died, and 20 other children were injured in an accident when a school vehicle crashed into a bollard in front of Parliament in Plein Street.