The pilot phase of the Safe Schools Project was successfully completed at Sivile Primary school at the beginning of this year!

The aim of the project was to reduce child pedestrian injuries and deaths around 3 selected schools in Cape Town. It consisted of five main components and these were: International Road Assessment Program (iRAP); Small-scale infrastructural upgrades; Teacher training; Distribution of high visibility clothing and Monitoring and Evaluation. Below are some of the major results:

Demographic information:

The study sample (children with full consent to participate) consisted of 170 children (58% girls and 42% boys); of which 146 were followed up at post-intervention (24 children were either absent or no longer attending the school). Children were recruited from Grades 2 to 7, and ages ranged from 6 years to 14 years.

History of pedestrian injuries:

At baseline, 70 children indicated that they had experienced a pedestrian collision at some point in their life, and at post-intervention 66 children reported a pedestrian injury.

Degree of pedestrian supervision:

Of the children who walked to or from school, the majority always or sometimes walked by themselves, and of those children who did not always walk alone, the vast majority were accompanied by friends or siblings as opposed to adults. On average, a smaller proportion of children reported “always” walking alone at post-intervention (12.7%) compared to baseline (38.2%). Most children lived relatively close to the school; within a 15 minute walk.

Pedestrian safety knowledge:

Children were asked a variety of questions. For the first question, “if you can see the driver, the driver can see you?” the majority of children selected the incorrect answer, although a slightly smaller proportion did so at post-intervention (73.8%) compared to baseline intervention (78.0%). For the question on “where to cross the street if there is no zebra crossing?” just under half of the children selected the incorrect answer at post-intervention, while 46.7% selected the correct answer at baseline.

However, for the remaining knowledge questions, a larger proportion of children answered correctly at post-intervention compared to baseline.

Self-reported road-crossing behaviour:

The majority of children indicated safe road-crossing behaviours for each question, at both baseline and post-intervention. However, a greater proportion of children reported safe behaviours at post-intervention, with the largest increase for “Keep looking/listening for cars until you get all the way across the road” (21.4% more children at post-intervention indicated that they “always” engage in this behaviour).