Minister Mitchell launches JTTC at Riviersonderend Secondary School

13 Oct 2022 in Where We Govern

Today, I launched a new Junior Traffic Training Centre (JTTC) at Riviersonderend Secondary School in the Overberg District.

The launch forms part of my October Transport Month activities of raising awareness and promoting road safety initiatives across the province.

In many rural towns such as Riviersonderend, most children are pedestrians and walk to school, potentially putting their lives in danger. This significantly increases their exposure to traffic hazards and increases the need to educate children about road safety.

The aim of the JTTC is to teach learners good safety habits within a safe environment where they are not exposed to real-life traffic hazards. This is important in the fight against pedestrian killings, especially child pedestrian killings, which is a serious concern in South Africa.

JTTCs are simulated road environments where young children, as young as seven years old, learn how to use roads safely and responsibly without being exposed to actual life-threatening traffic hazards. The training focuses on basic lessons about crossing a road safely, walking on the correct side of the road, and other basic road safety skills.

JTTCs are a programme implemented by the Directorate: Road Safety Management (RSM) on behalf of the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC). It is important to teach children about road safety and to place great value on safe mobility.  Government and people who raise children have a responsibility to do so. In the Western Cape Government, we use this programme in our schools, as one of the means to impart road safety education in a play-environment, without exposing our learners to the dangers of real traffic situations, but rather to equip and enable them to safely move between places.

We also have the Safety in Traffic Education Programme (STEP), a programme implemented in collaboration with the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) and Western Cape Education Department of Education, which was designed in alignment with the Life Orientation educators’ work schedule and the learners’ workbooks in the school curriculum. The main objective of STEP is to integrate road safety education into the curriculum of mainstream schools.

Reiviersonderend is divided by the busy N2 highway and many children cross the road on their way to and from school daily, potentially putting their lives in danger.

As the Minister responsible for mobility in the province, I want to ensure that each person can commute safely, whether walking, cycling, using public transport, or driving. I am very concerned about the high number of pedestrians, especially children that are killed on our roads. One of my main objectives is to make mobility safer in the Western Cape and see a decrease in road accident killings, especially young pedestrian killings.

Children should progressively be taught traffic safety behaviour from an early age in order for them to eventually become safe and responsible pedestrians, cyclists, motor-cyclists and drivers. JTTCs play a very important role in this respect. Today we have taken another small step towards making mobility safer in Riviersonderend and throughout the Western Cape.