GRIM REALITY: A screenshot from the Safely Home website reveals its child fatalities map. Each red marker represents a child killed on Western Cape roads. Image: Safely Home
CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape's Safely Home road safety campaign has released an interactive map of child pedestrians killed in 2014.
The child pedestrian fatalities map, part of the province’s focus on child road safety in October 2014, was compiled using data provided by the provided by the Forensic Pathology Service of the Western Cape Department of Health.
The map shows child pedestrian fatalities, aged 10-years or younger, in the Western Cape from January 1 to September 15 2014. It allows viewers to click on markers for details such as a gender, age and date.
According to the Western Cape department of transport and public works: “All other details have been excluded to protect the identity of the victims”.
One marker recorded on Voortrekker road in Parow reads: “Boy aged six fatally knocked down at 23:30pm on a school holiday.”
‘WE CAN ALL MAKE A DIFFERENCE’
Western Cape MEC of transport and public Works, Donald Grant, said: “This map makes the scope of fatal child pedestrian knockdowns on our roads brutally clear. We urge all members of the public to consider what part they can play to help make our roads safer for little children.
“Just by slowing down when driving and providing a safe example when crossing roads, we can all make a difference.”
Click here to view the full map and campaign details.
WORST AFFECTED AREAS
According to Safely home: “On average, 75% of the children aged ten years or younger, who are run over and killed in the province, are from the Metro area, and almost entirely from poorer communities. The worst affected areas are Khayelitsha, Philippi, Delft, Nyanga, Mfuleni and Kraaifontein-Wallacedene.”
Western Cape road death statistics: From the January 1 to August 31 2014
• There have been 133 child deaths (up to 19-years-old).
• Of those, there were 85 pedestrians (64%), 32 passengers, six motor-cyclists, one motor-cycle pillion (passenger), two drivers and seven other.
• Of the 85 pedestrian deaths, 59 were aged less than one to ten-years-old (69.4%).
Wheels24 reader Steve Spolander comments: “Rather than blame road users, one needs to look at the parents. The article it mentions a 6-year-old fatally injured at 23h30. Why was a six-year-old allowed to be out at that time of night? A child that young should be in bed.”
Thozamile Tyala said: Yes, the map will make a difference. Road crash analysis and mapping is important. It shows the affected groups or a category of road users. Adults in communities should be educated in road safety aspects so as to guide or transfer skills and knowledge to their children.
“The youth must be trained as road safety officers, so as to conduct community road safety education within the community.”
Rayno van der Westhuizen said: “I've been a driver for about 25 years. And it's amazing how people's driving skills have gone from bad to worse even with code 53.
“Open your eyes and look around you. When last did you see a n traffic official doing anything else than sit behind a speeding camera? Speeding is not the only real problem on our roads. It is that nobody is considerate anymore. ‘I will ram you off the road if you're in my way’, seems to be the mentality.
“When you're driving look at how many drivers actually stop at a stop street. Some people don’t even slow down. No wonder pedestrians are knocked down all over the place.
“Everybody complains about the SAPS that can't cope with crime. But refusing to stop at an stop street is also an crime. Where are the traffic and law enforcement? Get out of the damn offices and out on the roads. Stop people, fine them or take them off the roads!”
What do you think of the Western Cape's child pedestrian fatalities map? Do you think it will be effective in curbing poor road behaviour? Email us and we'll publish your thoughts on Wheels24.