04 November 2015, Cape Town – Today, Imperial Road Safety announced the launch of a joint project, the National Learner Road Safety Campaign – sanctioned by The South African Department of Basic Education. The campaign aims at generating awareness around road safety for learner pedestrians – at schools that are in need of an outreach programme - and ensures that they are given access to reflective clothing. 45 000 reflective sashes will be handed out over this time, within the foundation phase, which – as a result of the DBE’s commitment to road safety – will be made a mandatory part of the children’s school uniform.
Says Niki Cronje, Group Marketing at Imperial: “Protecting our children and giving them access to extended education is key and as such, we are very proud to have initiated yet another solid road safety campaign such as this. Not only does it create a platform for stronger education around road safety for those less fortunate young pedestrians but, very importantly, it provides a key opportunity to ensure that reflective clothing becomes a key part of these children’s lives – an extension of themselves in the aim of ensuring safer travels.”
“There is no doubt that road safety education should form as much a part of the school curriculum as do other learning subjects and through this campaign we are able to offer just this – the campaign offers an opportunity to introduce the concept and key aspects of road safety to learners, and to ensure that road safety is seen as a serious matter in this regard,” says Mr Baba Malaka Assistant Director at the Department of Basic Education.
The National Learner Road Safety Campaign, launching in Cape Town, is an extension of Imperial’s Scholar Patrol Improvement Project which, since its launch in 2012, has reached 700 schools, taught 606 059 learners, trained 2 800 teachers and reached numerous different communities within South Africa. In addition to this, the company has painted 17.5km kilometres of zebra crossings, erected 1 400 Stop signs and 1 400 ‘Scholar patrol ahead’ signs, as well as handed over 4 200 bibs.
While Imperial will certainly maintain the scholar patrol programme at these 700 schools, they identified a further need in providing increased education at this level. As such, the Leaner Road Safety Education is a solid addition to this campaign – in the spirit of creating safer roads for all.
The National Learner Road Safety Campaign partnership will aim to visit over 300 schools and reach a quarter of a million young students, over the next year. During these visits, the Imperial Road Safety team will educate learners around the rules of the road and give them key, practical advice and road safety tips to ensure that they are able to remain safe while walking to and from school, as well as while crossing the necessary roads.
“However, we realise that 300 schools is just touching the surface and as such, in the near future, we will expand this project to include the two major transport corridors In South Africa, namely: Joburg – Maputo and Joburg – Beit Bridge. This enables us to extend this campaign across a vast amount of schools and ensure we are changing the lives of those that are most vulnerable – our children,” continues Cronje.
“Imperial Road Safety takes a consistent approach and has a solid, widespread focus on developing road safety campaigns that get to the root of road safety issues in South Africa for our learners, and we are proud to sanction this initiative, one that is set to be a revolutionary pedestrian campaign,” continues says Mr Malaka.
“Road crash fatality information indicates that approximately 35-40% of road deaths in South Africa are pedestrian deaths. As such, we believe that creating awareness and education from grass root level around key road safety aspects, and to encourage the youth to become advocates for change in this regard, is the first step in achieving less pedestrian incidents – especially among these young people who are heavily reliant on walking as a method of transport,” concludes Cronje.