MasterDrive COVID-19 driver awareness for those driving with children. Under lockdown level three in the risk-adjusted strategy currently followed by the government, there are still restrictions in place that affect the transportation of both adults and children. These measures are meant to protect the occupants in a car and prevent further spread of the virus.
The managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says certain rules apply to the various ways of transporting children. “Parents who transport their children in their own cars need to follow the rules and recommendations that applied during other levels: wear face masks, sanitise the vehicle and have adequate ventilation. It has not been clarified what rules apply to parents with more than three occupants in the car. It, however, is unlikely that authorities will penalise you for this.
“MasterDrive encourages wearing your masks in the vehicle even if you were in lockdown together, so that if one family member contracts the illness it does not spread to others. Additionally, parents can make use of our diagram on sanitising vehicles. Consider opening windows rather than using the air-con or having no air circulating in the car. Remember, after school, children can bring the virus into the car with them which can have detrimental consequences for vulnerable family members.”
More clarity has been provided when transporting your children in public transport because of the risk it presents in spreading COVID-19. “Educate yourself and your children on the exact process to follow when using public transport and what to do to protect oneself. Face masks and sanitising of hands before entering the vehicle is mandatory.”
The number of passengers allowed to enter the vehicle is limited to 70% of the usual capacity:
- A taxi normally carrying 10 passengers can only carry seven.
- A taxi normally carrying 15 passengers may only seat 10.
- A small bus that carries 22 passengers can now only transport 15.
Be conscious of the regulations placed on the transport sector. “If you or your child notices that rules are not being followed, for example, there is no sanitisation or passengers are not wearing masks, then ensure your child knows it is acceptable to not get into that vehicle.”
Face masks, load requirements and sanitisation rules apply to all modes of transport. “If your family uses a ride-sharing service to get to school or other destinations or your older children travel to school with friends, the same rules apply.
MasterDrive COVID-19 driver awareness for those driving with children
“Emphasise the importance of following these regulations to protect their health and prevent an uncontrollable spread of COVID-19. Explain the importance of the rules, so that when your child decides whether or not to get into a vehicle, they make an informed and educated decision.”
The recent court ruling declaring the lockdown
unconstitutional has created much uncertainty. “Until advised otherwise,
however, State of Disaster rules and regulations are still legally required. It
is also in the best intertest of families to follow the transportation rules as
much of it is recommended worldwide as effective means to protect yourself from
“While the youth are believed to fare better with COVID-19, a rapid spread of the virus through public transport, and consequently through schools, could create a major problem for South Africa as a whole. We all have a role to play in ensuring this does not happen. No parent wants to see their child ill either which should motivate one to be as cautious as possible,” says Herbert.