Gaborone — Child pedestrians are among the highest risk group for road traffic accidents, Bophirima Ward councillor, Mr Kagiso Mongwaketse.
Speaking on behalf of the MP for Gaborone Bonnington South, Mr Ndaba Gaolathe at the launch of the children road safety programme at Tlhabologo Primary School recently, Mr Mongwaketse said children were vulnerable as pedestrians and were often killed or injured walking to and from school.
"Unlike their peers in wealthier countries, the vast majority of children in urban Botswana walk to school and they usually do so unaccompanied by an adult," he said.
Councillor Mongwaketse said statistics had revealed that 231 children were claimed by road accidents in the past five years while 787 and 2 576 children had serious and minor injuries respectively.
"It is quite evident that Botswana is faced with a serious problem and hence this warrants robust intervention measures by all stakeholders," he said.
For his part, Puma Energy Botswana retail manager, Mr Bashi Ratshosa said they noticed that school going children were exposed to different behaviours of road users, leaving them vulnerable and prone to accidents.
He said they embarked on a series of campaigns such as the "be road safe campaign" to promote safer roads in Botswana.
"As we launch the child road safety today, I would like to appeal to all road users to help make roads safer for children by adhering and observing road rules," he said.
Mr Ratshosa further implored government and the Society of Road Safety Ambassadors (SORSA) and the private sector road safety forum to furnish roads closer to schools with speed humps, traffic lights, signage, clear markings and station road traffic officers and scholar patrols to minimise road misbehaviour.
He commended SORSA for a comprehensive road safety education and teaching about 900 pupils at Tlhabologo Primary School.
SORSA in association with Puma Foundation, FIA Foundation Amend in partnership with government built and created speed reduction humps, two cross bridges and some sign boards by the main entrance of Tlhabologo Primary school and a pedestrian gate to ensure pedestrians did not share the gate with oncoming traffic.
Mr Maatla Otsogile from SORSA encouraged the pupils to use the facilities to avoid accidents, adding that they intend rolling out the gesture to the entire nation.
Source : BOPA