School children face daily deadly crossing

A traffic officer helping schoolkids to cross Old Lansdowne. Credit: Nonzukiso Pitsha

The Old Lansdowne road in Philippi has extremely heavy traffic, which causes hundreds of accidents involving cyclists, pedestrians and cars every year. The most pedestrians that are in danger are school children because they travel to and from school almost 200 times per year.

The Old Lansdowne road in Philippi has extremely heavy traffic, which causes hundreds of accidents involving cyclists, pedestrians and cars every year.  According to the statistics provided by the Traffic Department, in the past five years there have been more than 40 pedestrians who were knocked over by cars on Old Lansdowne Road. The most pedestrians that are in danger are school children because they travel to and from school almost 200 times per year.

The inconsistent availability of traffic officers to ensure that children can cross the deadly Old Lansdowne Road safely, led to the broken leg of six-year-old Hlangula Gwiliza. The Traffic department has not assigned officers to all dangerous intersections, and as a results on 7 March 2016, Hlangula Gwiliza broke her leg while on  her way to Andile primary school.

Asanda Gwiliza, Hlangula’s mother, said it is challenging for working parents to help their children to cross this road. On the day of the accident she had left earlier for work. Asanda said she works in Epping and by five o’clock she must be on her way to Delft to catch a staff bus that leaves at six o’clock .
A parent, Nkululeko Mboniswa who is a taxi owner said part of his job is getting his child to and from school safely each day by car because he knows how dangerous the Old Lansdowne Road is.

Traffic officer Zola Mini, said they facilitate safe crossing of the road and they also instill an awareness of the importance of road safety in the minds of young pedestrians. Mini said dangerous traffic congestion occurs around schools in the morning and at the close of the day. For them to assist the children they look at the number of schools that are close to dangerous intersections and give assistance everyday during school times.

Also read:  Philippi residents demand decent school building

Gugulethu schools are close to Old Lansdowne Road and many school children attending them come from Browns Philippi.

A parent, Buntu Cethumane, who is a resident of Ezitexini informal settlement in Philippi, said children put their lives at risk every morning by having to cross Old Lansdowne Road on their way to school. Buntu said they need people to control traffic and safeguard scholar pedestrians everyday. He said he knows about traffic authorities that help children crossing the Old Lansdowne road: “This has been an improvement, but just not enough.”

Copyright policy

Creative Commons LicenceThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Should you wish to republish this Elitsha article, please attribute the author and cite Elitsha as its source.

All of Elitsha's originally produced articles are licensed under a Creative Commons license. For more information about our Copyright Policy, please read this.

For regular and timely updates of new Elitsha articles, you can follow us on Twitter, @elitsha2014, and/or become a Elitsha fan on Facebook.