Road safety at schools a concern for parents

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Willem Postma uses giant cones to help regulate traffic in front of the school after a parent got hit by a car at the school last week. Bloemfontein Courant reporter Sazly Hartzenberg shows just how huge the cones are. Photo: Pierce van Heerden

The Mangaung Metro is implementing different road safety strategies at schools around Bloemfontein as parents in the city fear their children are not safe when crossings roads in front of various schools in the city.
This comes after a parent, Jaco van de Wall, was hit by a car while dropping off his children at Willem Postma Primary School last week Friday. The incident sparked off conversations where parents voiced their feelings that it is not just in front of this specific school where people drive recklessly; it is something that happens at other schools as well.
The principal of Willem Postma, Jaco Kotze, told Bloemfontein Courant the school governing body is currently drafting documents to send to the Mangaung Metro Municipality in hopes that they will be able to get speed bumps in this problem area. He further said that in the meantime the school is using oversized cones to bring attention to the fact that there is a pedestrian crossing in front of the school.
At Eunice High School an elevated walkway and a few speed bumps in front of the school have recently been erected. The principal, Zinnette de Wet, told Bloemfontein Courant that traffic calming in front of schools is essential and the school is grateful for the action taken by the municipality as the speedbumps have been requested for a long time. There are processes that one needs to follow in order for the municipality to take the necessary action.
“To ensure the safety of our learners, we have a traffic officer who comes in the morning and afternoons to direct the traffic,” said De Wet.
Another school in Bloemfontein, Meisieskool Oranje, also makes use of a traffic officer provided by the municipality to regulate traffic in the morning and afternoons. The principal of the primary school, Adrie Albertyn, told Bloemfontein Courant that traffic and road safety at schools will always be a challenge but most of the learners who attend this school get dropped off by their parents inside the school.
Concerned parents are pleading with residents to be extra careful when driving in areas where there might be school children and to stick to all road rules.

SAZLY HARTZENBERG
sazly@centralmediagroup.co.za