Human Rights tomorrow marks an important event in our country’s history: the uprising in Sharpeville in 1969.
Almost 50 years on we still value the ideals of that day, universal human rights for all in our country.
As part of that we must be reminded that every South African, including children, have inalienable rights which we, as adults, must observe. And, these rights extend to when they are passengers in our vehicles.
There are a number of rights children have relating to transport. These include:
The right to be safe when travelling in a vehicle. This means children, even toddlers or babies, need to be buckled up, on approved booster seats (where the seatbelt fits properly over their shoulders and hips), or approved child restraint seats.
The right to drive with a sober driver. Driving a child means there is a certain responsibility on the driver. This means the driver must not drink or drive at any time.
The right to arrive safely at a destination whether it be in a car, minibus taxi or in a bus.
Every child passenger in a vehicle must also be reassured that the driver is obeying the law, that their vehicle is in a good condition, and that the owner or driver of the vehicle has checked their tyres before the journey.
We should also always remember that children have every right to be outside including to walk and play on roads (where it is allowed), and that, as drivers, we must respect this right.
On this Human Rights Day in South Africa all road users are reminded that driving is a privilege and not a right, but that the rights of children to be safe on our roads is our obligation.