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PW 0385 Tsela tshweu
  1. Maatla Otsogile
  1. Society of Road Safety Ambassadors, Gaborone, Botswana

Abstract

Despite increasing motorization in Botswana, the donkey cart and bicycle are still the main means of transport in the rural areas and is used on a daily basis for transporting children to and from schools, community members to work, clinics and farms as well as for basic livelihoods such as access to access water, fuel wood. However, Increasing motorization, combined with some inadequately maintained infrastructure, has made these transport modes unsafe, in both urban and rural areas, and worse, the needs of these road users are routinely omitted from the designs of road improvements as most of the roads have no special provision for donkey carts and bicycles ,making their users vulnerable. In the last four years, about 299 road crashes involving donkey carts were registered because the donkey carts were not visible. Society of Road Safety Ambassadors hence implemented a project dubbed ‘Tsela Tshweu’ which attempted to redress this problem. Tsela Tshweu is a national traffic prevention, awareness and education program aimed at curbing crashes relating to non-motorized transport. We had realized that most donkey carts and bicycles lack the basic safety equipment of adequate reflectors and lights making them not visible and hence causing vehicle-donkey carts crashes. Therefore, this valuable road-safety initiative involved the supply and fitting of front and rear reflectors on donkey carts and bicycles. This also entailed educating donkey cart users through pamphlets and community meetings led by the chief that like motorists they are expected to obey road safety precautions in order to curb road crashes in our country. The programme went well and 7 communities along the A1 Highway benefited, reaching out to 2279 community members and with 930 bicycles and 666 bicycles fitted with reflectors and reflective strips.

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