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WATCH: Even 'Red Riding Hood' can't cross Cape Town streets

2015-11-23 09:30

CHANGING HEARTS AND MINDS: In Caracas, Venezuela mimes (pictured here) are the most common street performers. The city of Cape Town will tackle unsafe and irresponsible behaviour on its streets using performers in November.Image: AP

Cape Town - More than 2800 pedestrians were hit by vehicles in central Cape Town from 2005 to 2014, this equates to a pedestrian being run down in area approximately every 28 hours for the past 10 years, reports the Western Cape Transport Department and Public Works.

More than 450 of these cases resulted in serious injuries.

READ: Planning an SA road trip? 20 vehicle checks you must do!

What is the province doing to curb pedestrian road deaths? It's turning to street performers in November 2015.

'Streetiquette' in Cape Town

The department has partnered with theatre group, Open Streets Cape Town (OSCT), to test 'Streetiquette', a campaign to raise awareness about pedestrian safety the province's Pedestrian Month (part of the Safely Home initiative). The purpose of the campaign aims to trigger, the department says, "self-observation, self-reflection and, ultimately, self-education, and has been adapted for local audiences."

What is it?

According to the department: "Streetiquette is inspired by a popular form of engagement in Latin America in which colourful performances and interactive theatre are used to tackle unsafe and irresponsible behaviour on urban streets by motorists and pedestrians."

The “experiment” will use different approaches to find the type of language and format that can serve as the basis for a long-term campaign that can be taken to other parts of Cape Town and the province.

Watch: Theatrical interventions used to illustrate pedestrian safety

READ: Readers reveal No.1 killer on SA's roads

How it works

Starting from November 23 to 27, five different theatrical performances will take place at five busy CBD intersections. The theatrics will be directed by Mandisi Sindo, artistic director of Theatre4Change Therapeutic Theatre and Jason Potgieter, performer and educator running the Instant Arts Collective.

A series characters will interact with pedestrians at the following intersections: Darling and Buitenkant streets, Darling and Plein streets, Wale and Long streets, Adderley and Bureau streets, and at the pedestrian crossing near Parliament on Plein Street.

A “finale” will take place during on December 3 at the intersection of Bree and Wale streets.

Check out the timetable below: Dates, times and intersections

Monday (Nov 23) 07:00 - 09:00am Darling & Buitenkant streets
Monday (Nov 23) 14:00 - 16h00pm Darling & Buitenkant
Monday (Nov 23) 16:00-18h00 Darling & Plein
Tuesday (Nov 24) 07:00 -09:00 Darling & Plein
Tuesday (Nov 24) 12:00 -14:00 Wale & Long
Tuesday (Nov 24) 16:00 - 18:00  Wale & Long
Wednesday (Nov 25)  07:00 - 09:00  Plein Street (Pedestrian crossing)
Wednesday (Nov 25) 12:00 - 14:00 Plein St (pedestrian crossing)
Thursday (Nov 26) 07:00 - 09:00  Adderley & Bureau
Thursday (Nov 26) 12:00 - 14:00  Adderley & Bureau
Thursday (Nov 26) 16:00 - 18:00  Buitengracht St & Walter Sisulu Ave
Friday (Nov 27) 07:00 - 09:00  Best two performances will be repeated at their original location
Friday (Nov 27) 12:00 - 14:00 Best two performances will be repeated at their original location
Friday (Nov 27) 16:00 - 18:00  Best two performances will be repeated at their original location
Thursday (Dec 03) 16:00 - 18:00  Bree & Wale

The reason for the campaign?

Western Cape MEC of Transport and Public Works, Donald Grant, said: "The need is now more pronounced than ever for continued innovation , in changing poor road user behaviour, through initiatives such as the Streetiquette campaign. Raising awareness amongst motorists and pedestrians (the leading class of fatalities in the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape, and South Africa), on how to use our roads properly and safely, will undoubtedly go a long way to addressing this very pressing issue. 

"We hope that increased awareness will spur a positive behaviour change in all road users, thereby saving thousands of lives that would otherwise have been lost senselessly on our roads."

What else is the city doing to protect pedestrians?

Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Councillor Brett Herron, said: “Transport for Cape Town, the City’s transport authority, is currently installing bump-outs at the intersections in the CBD to enable pedestrians to safely cross the road.

"These bump-outs are literally an extension or widening of the existing sidewalks, providing pedestrians with much improved sight of oncoming traffic, while at the same time providing motorists a better view of pedestrians waiting to cross the road. The dipped kerbs will be less steep once the upgrading is completed, making it easier for wheelchair users to get on and off the sidewalk.”

To get involved, use the following hashtags #WalkSafe, #SafeRoadsForAll  and #Streetiquetteand keep an eye on @OpenStreetsCT  and @WCGSafelyHome


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