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Chapter 14

SECURITY AND HEALTH

14.11 SCHOLAR PATROLS AT PUBLIC SCHOOLS

14.11.1Legislative and Policy Framework

ACTS

  • The Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996, section 57.5 [RTA]
  • The Children’s Act 38 of 2005 [CA]
  • The Bill of Rights in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act No. 108 of 1996 Section 28 [BoR]

 

GUIDELINES

  • South African Road Traffic Signs Manual (SADCRTSM 11/97) as prescribed by the National Road Traffic Act [SARTSM]
  • The Arrive Alive Traffic Scholar Patrol Manual [AATSM]

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REGULATIONS

  • Examination Instructions: E86/2017; Management and administration of subject changes in Grades 10-12 (4 October 2017) [Reference B7 E86/2017]

14.11.2Framework for the Development of School Policy on Scholar Patrols at Public Schools

Scholar Patrol is an important part of road safety education and essential to enhancing the safety of our learners at their schools. Not only does it regulate traffic, improve traffic calming and facilitate safe crossing of the road but also instils in the minds of our young pedestrians an awareness of the importance of road safety.

The Road Traffic Act (Act 93 of 1996), section 57.5 determines:

“In such circumstances and subject to such conditions as the MEC concerned may determine, scholars or students may be organised into patrols (to be known as scholars’ patrols) for the purpose of displaying, in the prescribed manner, an appropriate road traffic sign so as to ensure the safety of scholars or students crossing a public road”.

Children’s Act (Section 2 Objects of Act) determines:

S 2 (b) (iv) “to give effect to the following constitutional rights of children, namely- that the best interests of a child are of paramount importance in every matter concerning the child;”

S 2 (d) “to make provision for structures, services and means for promoting and monitoring the sound physical, psychological, intellectual, emotional and social development of children;”

S 2 (i) “generally, to promote the protection, development and well-being of children.”

  1. Implementation
    • As laid down by the Road Traffic Act (Act 93 of 1996), section 57.5, learners can be organized into patrols (known as scholar patrols) in order to display a stop sign in the prescribed manner (SADCRTSM 11/97, section 2.8) so that the safety of pedestrians crossing a public street or road can be ensured.
    • It is a function of provincial government to support the establishment of scholar patrols where there is a need and where it is demanded by circumstances.
    • Where needed, and when requested by school principals and/or recommended by traffic authorities, the aid and assistance of the relevant provincial government should be given to assist with the functioning of scholar patrols.
    • The provincial government arranges insurance cover against collisions and claims resulting from events occurring during the legal functioning of scholar patrols.
    • Equipment and guidelines for the implementation and functioning of scholar patrols is provided by the provincial government.
  2. Registration and Authorization
    • When a scholar patrol is requested by a school, the traffic authority decides on the position and number of scholar patrol crossings in consultation with the school and provincial road safety component.
    • The province provides a registration form (SP1) of which sections A and B are completed by the principal, and section C by the traffic authority. The traffic authority then forwards the form to the province for registration onto a computerised database.
    • After registration copies of the registration form are sent to the traffic authority and the school. These must be safe-guarded for inspection as well as any queries regarding the operation of scholar patrols.
    • Implementation of a scholar patrol will not take place until training of the whole scholar patrol team has been completed, the relevant road markings are applied and pre-warning signs have been erected. On confirmation of this having been done, scholar patrol equipment will be issued to the school by the province.
    • Any changes to a crossing, that is, additions, cancellations and change in location are done by means of the SP3 form.
      Please refer to the Arrive Alive website to obtain the SP1 and SP2 forms.
      For the SP3 form, please contact the relevant Provincial authority.
  3. Organisation
    • A scholar patrol at a school consists of two teams, which relieve each other on an alternating schedule basis. This is done at the discretion of the responsible educator and can be done daily or weekly.
    • The members of the patrol are chosen and appointed by the responsible educator.
    • Before a learner can become a member of a scholar patrol, a letter of consent (SP2) must be completed by the relevant learners’ parent/guardian and this is kept at the school whilst a copy is sent to the traffic department.  These documents must be available for inspection by the traffic authority and the province at all times.
    • Scholar patrol team members must be at least eight (08) years old.
    • The type of scholar patrol crossing determines the composition, functioning and equipment of the team.
    • There must be one captain on duty for each team at every crossing.
    • All the members of the team on duty arrive at the school at a time determined by the school / responsible educator and remain on duty until a time decided by the school / responsible educator. In the afternoon they do duty again from before the final bell rings until necessary. At the end of the day, educators must excuse scholar patrol members timeously to enable them to get dressed and be in position before the rest of the school is dismissed for the day. It is compulsory that members must be in Scholar Patrol gear when on duty.
  4. Duties of role Players
    • The School
      The school (Governing Body) is responsible for the efficient establishment and functioning of a scholar patrol.  Should it not be possible for the principal to exert direct control over this, the responsibility should be delegated to a suitable educator.

      • The principal or responsible educator should:
        • In conjunction with the applicable traffic authority and the relevant provincial authority, determine the need for pedestrian crossings at streets adjacent to the school premises;
        • Fill in section A and B of the SP1 application form and forward the completed form to the traffic authority;
        • Control and regulate matters pertaining to the scholar patrol, such as composition of parental involvement, equipment and functioning in conjunction with the local traffic authority and the province;
        • See to it that the parents of scholar patrol team members have completed the letter of consent (SP2) and keep these safe at the school with a copy having been sent to the traffic authority;
        • Respond to complaints and requests of scholar patrol members;
        • Exert control over all equipment and supervise, at all times, the functioning of the scholar patrol;
        • Arrange for the training of scholar patrol members;
        • Inform all learners about the correct use of scholar patrol crossings;
        • Should a collision occur, report this to the police and the traffic authority and follow up with a written report.
    • Captain
      Each scholar patrol has a captain who is responsible for the overall operation of the team.
      The captain’s duties are as follows:

      • Reports directly to the principal or the supervising educator;
      • Compiles the team correctly and sees to it that they act in accordance with regulations;
      • Completes the register before every duty;
      • Inspects the team prior to every duty to ensure that they are dressed according to regulations and that they have all the necessary equipment;
      • Is responsible for ensuring that the teams place the pre-warning signs correctly (if applicable);
      • Is responsible for reporting to the principal or the responsible educator should the road signs become unclear or damaged;
      • Is responsible for seeing to it that the team stands either BEHIND the kerbstone or on the shoulder of the road, as indicated by the traffic authority;
      • Sees to it that the leader and the team members do their work correctly and in accordance with regulations;
      • Sees to it that the equipment is stored and maintained correctly;
      • Maintains discipline at all times;
      • Keeps a notebook to note down irregularities and reports these to the responsible educator after duty;
      • Assists teams to control pedestrians where needed;
      • Sees to it that the traffic flow is not unnecessarily impeded.
    • Leader
      Each crossing has a leader who is responsible for the operation of the crossing. The duties of the leader are as follows :

      • Assumes position on the side of the street towards which the pedestrians walk (i.e. always faces the pedestrians);
      • Acts as the captain’s right hand person and at all times supervises the team operating the crossing;
      • Controls the opening and closing of the crossing, as well as the pedestrians using the crossing, by using a whistle (Types A, B, G and H);
      • Controls the flow of pedestrians through the crossing at all times;
      • Ensures that the traffic flow is not unnecessarily impeded.
    • Members
      Each crossing is manned by a number of members as prescribed under the different kinds of crossings.
      Duties of the members are :

      • At types A, B and H crossings:
        • Place and remove the pre-warning signs (if applicable);
        • Use the poles and the stop sign boards on the instructions of the leader.
      • At all other types of crossings:
        • Control and regulate the pedestrians without applying traffic control;
        • Assist the captain in noting down traffic violations.
    • Traffic Authority
      The traffic authority, in conjunction with the relevant school and the local branch of road safety, decides on the establishment of scholar patrols. This also includes the positioning of pedestrian crossings other than those at traffic lights. The duties of the traffic authority are as follows:

      • Completion of section C of the SP1 and and section D of the SP3 (volunteer) form registration form and forwarding of the form to the province;
      • Recommendation that a scholar patrol be instituted where justified, and submission of the application to the province;
      • Assistance with the training of teams and adult supervisors/volunteers;
      • Regular inspection to ensure that the patrols function correctly and that all regulations pertaining to the Road Traffic Act are complied with;
      • Supplying of the necessary pre-warning signs and ensuring that these are used correctly and meet all the requirements of the Road Traffic Act;
      • Indication of the places where temporary pre-warning signs have to be placed should these be used;
      • Ensuring that the crossings are marked properly and in accordance with prescriptions;
      • Recommendation that curb stones be placed or that safety zones be erected / marked at each crossing;
      • Assistance with the delivery of the required equipment as supplied by the province to the schools;
      • Handling of all representations or complaints with regard to the implementation and functioning of scholar patrols before they are referred to the province;
      • Reporting to the province on any collision in which scholar patrol members might be involved whilst they were on duty;
      • Ensuring that vehicles are not parked in such a way that they impede visibility and endanger members of the scholar patrol;
      • Resumption of traffic control when the traffic becomes so dense that it becomes dangerous for the scholar patrols to operate.
    • The Province (Local Road Safety Component)
      The duties of the province with regard to scholar patrols involves the following:

      • Determining the need for a scholar patrol applied for in conjunction with the traffic authority;
      • Registration of the school and crossing(s);
      • Ensuring that the application form (SP1) and (SP3) has been correctly completed by all the relevant parties;
      • Distributing copies of the registration of the school and crossing(s) to the school and the traffic authority;
      • Dealing with all queries or requests from schools and authorities;
      • Training of traffic officers and/or educators;
      • Supplying of all scholar patrol equipment to the relevant schools and new patrols through the traffic authority;
      • Regular inspection of all schools and crossings to determine whether scholar patrols are operating in accordance with regulations;
      • Maintenance of up-to-date records of all registered schools and crossings.
    • Adult Supervisor
      • The Adult Supervisor is an adult person (person older than eighteen (18) years of age) who supervises the scholar patrol team in action. This involves checking that the correct procedures are followed and supplying assistance where necessary, especially with regard to crowd control or collision details.
      • Adult supervisors may be students (eg university / technikon, etc), retired persons, parents, educators, administrative or maintenance staff of the school, traffic officers, or any other adult. Whilst engaged in supervising the scholar patrol, they are covered by insurance.
        • Supervises the scholar patrol crossing at all times whilst in operation;
        • Notes any irregularities in the way the scholar patrol operates and reports these to the responsible educator;
        • Furnishes information for legal purposes should a claim arise due to the actions of the scholar patrol;
        • Furnishes information to the traffic authority should vehicles ignore the scholar patrol;
        • Sees to it that the captain performs according to the prescribed duties.
    • Parents / Guardians
      The parents/guardians of prospective patrol members should

      • Complete and sign the parent consent letter (SP2) and return it to the school before the learner is allowed to participate;
      • Support the school by seeing to it that the learner fulfils his/her task as a scholar patrol member responsibly and faithfully.
  5. Conditions of Use For Scholar Patrols
    • A scholar patrol may only operate at a registered crossing.
    • Should there not be a kerbstone or if the road is exceptionally wide at the pedestrian crossing, the members should either stand on the shoulder of the road or as indicated by the traffic authority. Where-ever possible the kerbstone must be used. Scholar patrol members may not stand on the road surface at any stage.
    • Members may under no circumstances move into the street to stop the traffic or to regulate it. At type A, B and H crossings the members of the patrol should only exhibit the stop sign boards horizontally with a movement of the body and arms, so that approaching drivers can see them clearly and stop in time.
    • The principal / responsible educator is held responsible for the proper supervision, storage and maintenance of the scholar patrol equipment. Should schools not comply with this requirement, their scholar patrols will be withdrawn.
    • Pre-warning signs must be erected irrespective of the type of crossing.
    • Adult supervision is compulsory and an absolute essential at all crossings.
    • Performance on gravel roads is permissible if the following are complied with:
      • Vision / line of sight in both directions has to be good (not at blind rises, corners, dense bush / trees / buildings next to road, etc);
      • Members may not stand on the road surface;
      • The local road safety component of the province should visit the crossing and ensure that the crossing complies with the prescribed safety requirements (the position of the crossings should be determined in conjunction with the applicable traffic authorities and the school);
      • Such a crossing would be registered as a Type G (Open Crossing).
    • Performance on provincial and national roads is permissible as long as  the following conditions have been complied with :
      • The position of the crossing should be determined in conjunction with the traffic authority, the school and the province (stress must be placed on adequate visibility);
      • The members of the scholar patrol as well as the learners should be trained with regard to the use of the crossing;
      • Controlled groups of children may cross the road per opportunity (once a group of children has crossed, the situation has to be re-evaluated for safety before the next group should be allowed to cross);
      • Such a crossing would be registered as a Type G (Open Crossing).
    • Action at stop signs and / or traffic light controlled crossings in urban, rural and remote areas: scholar patrols may not use stop sign boards at controlled crossings.  A stop-board operating scholar patrol may operate near to a controlled crossing only if no other solution is obtainable, but preferably to a minimum of 50 meters away from the controlled crossing;
      • Scholar patrol crossings do not have the purpose of serving as a solution for traffic offences (for example, motorists who do not stop at stop streets or yield to pedestrians);
      • The function of the scholar patrol at a crossing is only to regulate and control pedestrians.
  6. Insurance Cover
    • The provincial government has Public Liability and Personal Accident Cover.
    • The Public Liability Policy covers compensation with regard to the incidental death, physical injury or illness of third parties or the incidental loss of or physical damage to tangible third party property which occurs within the boundaries during the period of insurance, and which results from the activities of scholar patrols or their supervisors.
    • The insurance is only valid when the patrols function in accordance with the regulations as laid down, in approved crossings directly before or after school on official school days.
    • Personal Accident Cover covers incidental death, physical injury or illness of members of the scholar patrol team and its supervisors or the incidental loss of or physical damage to tangible personal property which occurs within the boundaries during the period of insurance, and which results from the activities of scholar patrols or their supervisors whilst operating a scholar patrol crossing or involved in any related activity (e.g. training).
    • Details of policies and cover can be obtained from the provincial road safety component.
    • Insurance claims procedure
      • Documentation
      • Copy of the parent letter(s) of consent (SP2) of the relevant scholar patrol member(s);
      • Copy of the registration form (SP1);
      • Report from the school;
      • Traffic authority and police report;
      • Completed claim form (will differ depending on insurance company);
      • Medical report on all injuries sustained;
      • Proof of all expenses regarding the collision (invoices/receipts).
    • Insurance
      • The insurance provided by the province only covers scholar patrol teams (captains, leaders and members), adult supervisors of scholar patrol teams (educators, adult volunteers from the community, principals, traffic officers and road safety related personnel) whilst on active scholar patrol duty (i.e. operation of scholar patrol crossings, training sessions and travel on official scholar patrol activities);
      • Scholar patrols must operate as indicated in the scholar patrol manual;
      • All relevant signage (advanced pre-warning signs, road markings and temporary scholar patrol signs) must be used;
      • Scholar patrols (and their supervisors) may at no time operate on the road surface nor undertake traffic control (in terms of point duty as performed by traffic officers);
      • Scholar patrols must wear the correct uniform and be under trained adult supervision at all times.
    • In spite of the province’s responsibility as set out above, it is advisable for the principal to request the Governing Body to consider additional insurance cover.

The Arrive Alive Traffic Scholar Patrol Manual can be consulted for a comprehensive framework to develop a Scholar Patrol School Policy.

Visit the Scholar Patrol and Road Safety website for documentation on:

  • copy of the parent letter(s) of consent (SP2) of the relevant scholar patrol member(s);
  • copy of the registration form (SP1);
  • report from the school;
  • traffic authority and police report;
  • completed claim form (will differ depending on insurance company);
  • medical report on all injuries sustained;
  • proof of all expenses regarding the collision (invoices/receipts).