Imperial is proud to announce that its Be safe. Be smart road safety campaign in partnership with Bakwena Platinum Corridor Concessionaire (Pty) Ltd (Bakwena) will be handing out ‘walking safety belts’ to learners in 8 schools in South Africa’s North West province this Transport Month – kicking off on 8 October. These belts, which are in the form of reflective sashes, are aimed at reducing child-related road accidents in this hotspot area that runs along the N1/N4 routes.
One of the most pressing issues facing modern society today, both globally and particularly within the South African context, is road safety. By 2030, road traffic crashes are expected to become the fifth leading cause of fatalities worldwide, overtaking both AIDS and tuberculosis.
“The significant impact of road carnage on the economy and society at large provides a convincing case for decisive policies and strategies to address the problem and for us as a business, this is a core pillar of Imperial’s community and corporate social investment (CSI) outreach,” says Mohammed Akoojee, Imperial’s Group CEO.
The South African Medical Research Council recently revealed that the leading cause of child injury deaths are road traffic injuries (36%). School going children are especially at risk of road traffic injuries given that 67% of them walk to school. “Driving awareness is critical to solving the national challenge of children being killed or injured on our roads however, practical solutions such a grassroot level education are as, if not more, important. The walking safety belt is a reflective belt that the learners will wear as part of their official school uniform - helping keep them visible to drivers on the road especially in low visibility situations,” adds Akoojee.
The reality is that school-aged children’s minds are still developing and don’t always gauge the danger of a situation or how quickly they can make it across the road, for instance. Imperial’s Be safe. Be smart education plays a critical role in preparing these young minds for future road usage - as well as better pedestrian safety. “We are excited to supplement this training with practical solutions that will help both drivers and child pedestrians,” noted Akoojee.
“This initiative is just one of the many CSI initiatives by Bakwena, in partnership with Imperial, within the communities along its toll routes, and we are committed to ensuring the safety of children residing along the N1/N4 routes,” says Solomon Kganyago, Commercial Manager at Bakwena.
Paseka Njobe, Director of School Safety for the Department of Basic Education says; “Road safety education is a challenge that cannot be achieved by government alone – which is why we appreciate the collaborative effort from the community and private sector to help us curb this crisis. These 8 schools are attended by children who reside next to the N4 freeway and they will truly benefit from wearing these walking safety belts - not only to be more visible but to also to serve as a constant reminder of road safety for community members that see them wearing these. We applaud Imperial for the Be safe. Be smart road safety campaign and look forward to a long successful partnership with them.”
The schools that will receive these walking safety belts include St Catherine Primary, Leokeng Primary, Kwanyape Primary, Bapo Primary, Majakaneng Primary, Seroopatha Primary, Nkukime Primary and Segwetlhane Primary.