Children's Corner with PANIC CHILUFYA
DURING this festive period there will be an increase in cases of reckless driving as a result of merry making that is associated with this time because people imbibe alcohol like there is no tomorrow.
To avoid casualties, parents and adults should endeavour to educate their children about road safety.
It is important that children regardless of age are road smart because when travelling along our roads, it is very clear to note that most pedestrians do not have appropriate knowledge and skills about road safety; especially when they are walking with young children. This explains why road traffic accidents are the second cause of death of children and young people after HIV/AIDs or malaria.
Most people do not know that the pedestrians must always walk on the right hand side of a road to enable them to see an oncoming vehicle as a safety precaution. To make it worse, some adults see nothing wrong in letting a child walk on the left side; hence putting a child at risk of being hit by a car.
Adding to the risk is that most roads are very narrow and often unlit; they were not designed with pathways to be used by pedestrians. And when this happens, pedestrians choose to walk on the road putting themselves at risk. The danger of being hit by a car is further increased when there is a child involved with no idea of road safety rules.
It is also common to see children playing games with others sitting too close to a road, often oblivious to speeding cars that pose a danger to their lives. To reduce the cases of road traffic accidents, it is imperative to that from an early age; everyone should be educated on road safety and how to avoid unnecessary loss of lives or injuries.
Currently, having knowledge of road safety is compulsory for drivers especially learner drivers, I feel road safety lessons should also be incorporated into the education curriculum and other sectors of society because sometimes accidents happen due to negligence or omissions by pedestrians who are ignorant about road safety.
If road safety was taught from an early age, such an initiative would ensure a positive mindset for all road users regardless of age. Of course the onus is not only changing the mindset of children and young people, it involves all members of society; everyone has a role to play.
For example, city planners should begin to create walkways for all new roads that are being constructed unlike how the situation is at the moment where very few roads if any have enough space for pedestrians. There is need to have all roads especially the busy ones adequately lit and pedestrians should also understand the importance of wearing bright colours or clothes that have reflectors especially at night or when visibility is bad.
Road safety should not only be taught to drivers at a driving school but must include all citizens beginning with school going children. With such an initiative, there would be the change (for the better) of mindset of road users, regardless of whether they are travelling on roads or pavements.
Remember, children are our future. Merry Christmas and be road smart.
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