Travelling to school should be a safe ride
14 January 2020
Tomorrow thousands of learners will travel to school to start the new academic year. For some, it will be their very first day at school. The City’s Transport Enforcement Unit, together with other enforcement agencies will be on patrol to ensure that drivers who transport children to and from school do so in a safe and responsible manner.
The City of Cape Town’s Transport Enforcement Unit will do regular checks and patrols to ensure that operators are not in transgression of the National Road Traffic Act and that they adhere to the rules set out in the National Land Transport Act, ACT 5 of 2009. Only drivers with the necessary valid documentation are allowed to operate such a vehicle. This includes being in possession of a valid professional driving permit (PDP).
‘The City of Cape Town’s enforcement agencies which includes Law Enforcement, Traffic Services and Metro Police will prioritise safe transportation of children and won’t hesitate to enforce the law. The safe transportation of school children should be a shared responsibility between parents, schools, vehicle owners and drivers,’ said the Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.
‘We would like to request parents to take a keen interest in the whereabouts of their children as they travel to school. We wish all learners the best of luck for the academic year and especially to the parents of learners who will go to school for the first time – this is a proud moment. We all should work together to ensure that our children experience a safe environment,’ said the Executive Mayor, Alderman Dan Plato.
Apart from driver fitness, other major concerns are vehicle fitness and overloading. Any vehicle found to be unroadworthy will be suspended. Where the driver does not have the relevant documentation, a vehicle can be impounded.
In 2018, the City’s enforcement services issued 1 963 fines and impounded 60 vehicles. In 2019, they issued 1 942 fines and impounded 101 vehicles.
‘The number of fines issued is alarming as it is often habitual offenders who continue showing a disregard for the rules of the road. These drivers not only endanger the lives of learners but also other road users and passengers. This we will not allow and the City will act swiftly against those who keep on finding themselves on the wrong side of the law,’ said Alderman Smith.
Vehicles transporting children should be registered and licensed and be tested at a roadworthy centre every six months. One safety aspect that is often overlooked is that there should be seatbelts. The driver should also have the necessary documentation. The vehicle should further have clear signage to identify it as a scholar transport vehicle.
Drivers who illegally operate a scholar transport service run the risk of the vehicle being impounded with an impoundment release fee of up to R15 000 for a third impoundment. This excludes the R2 500 fine that is payable under these circumstances.
Parents are encouraged to assist by ensuring that;
- the vehicle that their children will be travelling in has an updated roadworthy certificate
- the driver has all the required documentation, including a PDP and a valid operating license
- they familiarise themselves with the time schedule, pick up points and routes that the driver will be using.
The City of Cape Town would like to request motorists who frequently use roads around schools to drive with extra care and to report any bad or dangerous driving by operators transporting school children.
Issued by JP Smith, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, City of Cape Town, 14 January 2020