AWARDED: Moegamat Roopen
A Mitchells Plain taxi driver has been crowned the safest school transport in Cape Town.

Moegamat Fuad Roopen, 65, from Colorado, has been declared the safest driver who transports school children for 2017, and was given a new minibus at an awards ceremony at the Athlone Civic Centre.

Childsafe SA, a campaign of the Child Accident Prevention Foundation of SA (CAPFSA), said the Toyota Quantum was worth R395 000.

Roopen said the safety and security of the pupils he transported was his main concern.

“For the past eight years I was driving with a [Toyota] Venture but I just found out that I have this van at the moment,” the happy driver told Cape Argus.

HONOUR: Sebastian van As, Moegamat Fuad Roopen and Themba Baloyi at ceremony

“I always keep a distance with my vehicle. I always keep my distance at the robots, you know those three lines, I always stay behind the line and the speed bump. I don’t rush over the speed bumps and other safety measures,” he explained.

Roopen is a participant driver in the CAPFSA Safe Travel to School Programme, aimed at developing cohorts of safe scholar transport drivers through an intervention programme which includes monitoring driver behaviour, frequent eye and health checks, as well as first aid, defensive driving and incentives.

“There are currently over 600 drivers on the programme driving more than 8 000 children to school and back in Cape Town every day,” said Childsafe SA spokesperson Kay Jaffer.

According to statistics, about 17 000 people die on our roads every year - of these 3 000 are children.

The drivers and participants of this initiative operate from Atlantis to Mitchells Plain, from Khayelitsha to the southern suburbs, as well as the northern suburbs.