Yesterday, we saw a horrific story in the news, a primary school child on his way to school was killed when a fuel truck hit the boda boda he was on. Tragic in so many ways, I can’t even put it into words.
This later sparked off a debate about whether or not parents should be letting their children go to school using boda bodas.
I will not contribute to this particular discussion but will give my two cents on the situation around it.
So yes, parents used boda boda….can we not judge and blame them? What if the boda boda rider in this case had been the child’s father? According to police reports, the rider also succumbed to his injuries a short while after getting to the hospital. What if instead of having the child get to school by himself, he decides to drop him off?? Does that make him a good or bad father? Do we have a right to question his decisions?
What if the journey between home and school was quite a distance and the parents for some reason or another couldn’t personally escort the child to school but instead entrusted child with an adult they know, the boda boda rider? Isn’t this child safer than the one who gets left to go to school by himself?
Cue the school shuttles – Has anyone seen how packed some these shuttles normally are? Forget the international schools; I’ve seen one that was a clear 14 seater van but could swear there were about 30 children in it…with four in the co-driver’s seat. And has anyone noticed how recklessly driven some of them are?
Cue person judging because you drive your child to school every morning. Same person who probably lets their day-care going toddler take the co-driver seat unstrapped with face a few inches away from the windscreen. Ever wondered what would happen if you suddenly braked?
The one who in such a hurry to get their own child to school is not mindful about the other children walking to their own schools. Do you also want to crucify the parents of the child sent via boda?
The driver who does not even consider it for a second to stop, hazard indicate and let children safely cross the road…..are you going to judge as well????
Let us not crucify the parents of this child and those that daily have to make this decision. We have no idea why they do and maybe, sometimes, from the options they have, that is the best.
Instead, let us be better road users; mindful and concerned about not just ourselves and where we have to be and how late we’re running, but also about these kids. Whether on motorbike, bicycle or walking.