Prioritising Pedestrian Road Safety

N3 Toll Concession (N3TC) has identified Pedestrian Safety as its focus area for 2008 Transport Month (October), which has triggered the launch of the N3TC Road Safety Poster Competition.
Over 40 schools situated in the near vicinity of the N3 Toll Route, between Heidelberg and Cedara, will be participating in the Competition. The Competition has been endorsed by the Road Safety Foundation and is aligned with the THINK! Kidz Foundation, an initiative aimed at educating children on road safety practices that will benefit the entire family.
Prize money to the value of R22 000 will be awarded to category winners of the Competition, which will see the winning learners and their respective schools each receiving some financial reward for their efforts. The Competition includes the following categories:
Ø Pre-Primary – Grade R
Ø Primary Foundation Phase – Grade 1 to 3
Ø Primary Senior Phase – Grade 4 to 7
Ø High School- Grade 8 to 11
The Competition will be launched into all the schools during October, in conjunction with the various Provincial Department of Transport Road Safety Officers as well as key N3TC personnel. Individual school judging will take place during the first week of November, following which the finalists' posters will be sent to N3TC's head office for the final judging by N3TC's management team and the Road Safety Foundation's directors. The winners should be announced by the end of November 2008 and an exhibition of the winning posters will be set up at the THINK! Kidz initiative, which will take place at the Engen Vaal One-Stop on the 12th and 13th of December 2008.
Many of the fatal accidents recorded on the N3 Toll Route are as a result of accidents involving pedestrians, most could have been prevented by applying basic road safety principles through education and awareness.
"N3TC records, on average, four pedestrian fatalities on the N3 Toll Route per month. The twist in this tale, however, is that pedestrians are, by law, not permitted to be on a National Route and this poses major challenges for community leaders and law enforcement authorities," commented Con Roux, Commercial Manager of N3TC.
"These fatalities could be avoided if local community members truly understood the dangers of crossing a national route and the high speeds of the vehicles travelling on this road," continued Roux.
The problem is further aggravated by the high volumes of heavy vehicles making use of the N3. It is common to see trucks stopping along the route (which is illegal) and picking up pedestrians/passengers and dropping them off again further along the N3. While economic pressures are most often the reason for pedestrian activity and hitchhiking, lives are being compromised as a result.
"N3TC believes that through continuous education efforts, such as this Competition, and consistent messaging we will be able to make a difference in the lives of those that hold the future of South Africa in their hands," concluded Roux.