They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, sometimes it also takes a village to protect one.
With this in mind, the innovative Walking Bus Initiative was re-launched in Kleinmond on Monday 19 March 2018 by Minister Dan Plato and the Department of Community Safety. Overstrand’s Executive Mayor, Ald Dudley Coetzee also attended the launch.
The initiative would ensure that pupils of Kleinmond Primary arrive at school and return home safely.
Explaining how it works, Ward 9 Councillor Grant Cohen said, "the ‘walking bus’ will see parents or other volunteers forming the ‘drivers’ of the ‘bus’ – ‘picking up’ children along the way to and from school – to help improve the safety of learners and ensuring that they cross roads safely”.
According to him, perpetrators of crime and bullies tend to keep a low profile while the walking bus members are within close proximity.
“The walking bus also acts as a preventative measure for school children who attempt to take a turn in the wrong direction – or those who purely choose to stay home without their parents’ permission,” Cohen said.
The walking bus builds on the concept of safety in numbers and provides peace of mind for parents – specifically those working and concerned about their children’s safety, he added.
The Walking Bus Initiative will be assisted and supported by the Kleinmond Street Watch, Community Policing Forum, Kleinmond Primary School, Ward Councillors Grant Cohen and Fanie Krige, Kleinmond Police members and Traffic and Law Enforcement officers.
Walking bus membership is open to all community members, and the Department of Community Safety provides the kits for members, including their jackets, bibs, two-way radios, pedestrian-crossing stop signs and whistles. Various training programmes are also provided such as road safety, first aid and the likes.