4 tips for picking the right school transport for your kids
Many South Africans aren’t able to personally take their children to and from school. Not being able to drive or walk your child to class in the morning and fetch them in the afternoons is a common cause of anxiety.
Scholar transport is comprised of anything from private lift clubs and school taxis to school buses. While all these options are ecomobile and help save time, it’s important to ensure that they are also safe for the children using them. Here are some tips for what to look for when choosing scholar transport for your child.
- Inspect the road-worthiness of the vehicle
It’s not uncommon to see a minibus taxi parked on the side of the road in peak traffic while the driver fiddles around to see what the matter is. It’s also not uncommon to see older children helping push a vehicle that’s supposed to be taking them either to school or back home. At the very least a vehicle that’s not road-worthy will make you child late for school, which is an unacceptable habit at most institutions. At its worst, your child could get injured or killed. Exposed wires, windscreen wipers, side and rearview mirrors that don’t work and worn tyres should be red flags. It’s within your rights as a parent (and customer) to inspect the vehicle before signing your child up.
- Ask how many children are being transported
Most public transport vehicles have a clearly stated passenger limit. If the vehicle has seats for 15 passengers and the scholar transport you’re applying for already transports 17 children, where is your child going to sit? Overloaded vehicles are dangerous; especially should there be an accident.
- Ask to see paperwork
You don’t want someone who dodges roadblocks, because their vehicle licence isn’t up to date, in charge of your child’s safety on the road. Ask to see their driver’s licence, vehicle licence disk, roadworthy certificate and a copy of the registration papers. This is not an unreasonable request.
- Make sure the driver obeys safety rules
It’s not easy going from diligently strapping your child to their car seat or ensuring they always have their seat belt on to trusting that they will be fine in a vehicle that has even less precautionary measures. Ask the provider what measures they take to ensure safety. This is where you can request that your child always wear a seat belt if they sit in front or make it clear that you do not consent to them push-starting the vehicle should the need arise.
While looking for a safe transportation solution for your child, the people you meet and consider should be interested in setting your mind at ease. Have no fear or shame about asking for specifics. Safety comes first.
Be sure to catch Merle discussing all things Jozi Kids Thursdays on 180 With Bob.