The Department of Transport has confirmed that it is looking to implement further driver education in the school curriculum.
According to a new transport policy document published on Monday (5 March), schools will use a ‘train the trainer’ system where national traffic officials will train teachers in individual schools.
The educators will also follow a mandated programme to provide each of the current 12.5 million learners with at least one road safety learning opportunity each year, the policy states.
“The road safety programme should be monitored on a national and provincial level, with quarterly reports on the schools and learners trained,” it said.
“This will then be reviewed by the national road safety coordinating committee.”
In January 2017, the Road Traffic Infringement Agency and the department of basic education announced a partnership which included extending driving lessons into high school curriculum.
Former transport minister Dipuo Peters said at the time that the announcement was part of a long term initiative to establish and enhance road safety by “skilling” drivers.
“We also have the partnership with the department of basic education to ensure the inclusion of road safety in the curriculum and the training of teachers. This essentially entails different aspects of road safety awareness which are intended to adequately skill new drivers,” Peters said.
“Formal education and training will remain important but we must also broaden our minds and find ways to include road safety messages into the wider curriculum, into mathematics and science, geography and civic education,” Peters said.
End of the K53?
The department’s policy document also confirmed that it was looking at reviewing the current K53 drivers test.
This will include the development of a new ‘curriculum’ for driver training with further regulations to be introduced for driving schools, the policy said.
Retesting of trainers and examiners is also set to become a formal requirement alongside regular inspection of training centres.
The department has previously hinted that this new system could include a practical re-evaluation for drivers when renewing a licence, however the policy document does not provide further details or a definite timeframe on when to expect the new system.