Transport of death
Is there anything parents can do to ensure their children’s safety on the way to school?

I could not help but be touched when I saw the story of the children who died in a taxi accident on way to school. I really feel for the parents who lost their children in the accident and pray that they find healing.

It is shocking to see the kids packed like sardines in these contract vehicles. They are sometimes overloaded, some do not even look roadworthy and are often speeding on the road. In most cases it’s children from the townships who attend school in the suburbs and parents would rather use that mode of transport as it is ‘reliable’ and cost effective.
Payment is usually done at the end of the month which suits most people’s pockets.

I often wonder if the parents have an idea of what goes on with these taxis or vans. Do parents actually take the time to look at the safety measures put in place by the owner to ensure that their kids are safe? I have seen children not wearing seat belts in some cases or even walking and playing inside the taxi while it is in high speed.

As parents we want to give our kids the best education and this is often shown through sending our kids to former model C schools, which are often far away from home. I do understand that some parents don't have their own cars and that could be the only option available, but something needs to be done. They could call a meeting with the owner and report the condition of their vehicle and have parents raise their concerns.

The safety of the kids comes first, let us not compromise on that. In some cases you get parents who just hear the sound of the hoot and send the child outside to get into the taxi without even knowing what the condition of the transport is or who the driver is. You want to provide the best for the kids but at times the means of providing that aren't always safe and reliable.

It’s a difficult situation for a parent to be caught in. It is quite expensive for parents to pay buses or taxis every day and paying at the end of the month is the best solution. In these cases it is important that the parents exert pressure on transport owners to ensure that the transport system is up to scratch.

This is not the first case of children dying on their way to school and we need to put a stop to it. These are our children and their wellbeing depends on us. As a parent you need to step in and inspect the condition of the transport used by your child. Let’s look after them because we love and care for them. What has happened is horrible but with parents speaking with one voice things could change.

What are you doing to ensure that your child is safe on the road?

Read more by Masanda Peter

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