Township parents build their own speed bumps to slow traffic
Fears for children’s safety after hit and run accident
Parents in Nkandla township in Port Elizabeth have built their own speed bumps to slow traffic to protect their children.
Johannes Abrahams and Merileen Moses built speed bumps in the road outside their home three years ago after their daughter Leandra was hit by a car. Other residents followed suit, and there are now “homemade” speed bumps in several streets in the township.
Moses said: “My daughter was one year old when she was involved in a hit and run. She was playing with other children in the yard but she walked out and a speeding vehicle hit her. She suffered severe head injuries and was admitted to hospital for a month.”
“The scars on her face are a reminder of that terrible accident,” said Abrahams.
“Since then we decided to erect a speed bump in front of our gate to protect our three children.
“Children hate to stay indoors. They leave the yard and go next door to play with other children. We never expected drivers to be so reckless because this is not a main road. Drivers just speed.”
Abrahams said he maintains the speed bump, built with soil and stones which wash away when it rains.
More than 13,000 people die on SA’s roads each year. The numbers may be lower this year because of reduced traffic due to the Covid-19 lockdown. About a third of deaths are pedestrians.
Another parent, Fundile Mbekela, said: “I have six children and my house is next to the road. After a neighbour's child was involved in a hit and run I built a speed bump next to my house.”
“Taxi drivers speed to make quick cash, not considering the safety of our children. They even reverse for commuters without considering that children may come running out of their homes. Some motorists drive under the influence of alcohol.”
Ward 41 councillor Simphiwe Tyukana (ANC) said speeding vehicles were a problem. He said surfacing of roads in Nkandla roads has started, and “we want these roads to have speed bumps and guard rails for houses in danger of being involved in accidents”.
Nelson Mandela Bay municipal spokesperson Mamela Ndamase said residents should ask their ward councillors to prioritise tarring of roads.
“Once a road is constructed, speed bumps will be erected.
“The relevant officials will engage with a councillor to investigate interventions that can be made,” Ndamase said.
- This article was first published in GroundUp.