FILE: A minibus taxi transporting schoolchildren narrowly missed colliding with an oncoming train near the Observatory Station. Picture: Nathan Adams/EWN

FILE: A minibus taxi transporting schoolchildren narrowly missed colliding with an oncoming train near the Observatory Station. Picture: Nathan Adams/EWN

CAPE TOWN – A national plan has been launched in the Western Cape to make scholar transport safer.

The South African Department of Transport, insurance group Discovery and organisation Child Safe announced they will combine efforts to monitor school transport vehicles.

The plan to improve safety involves tracking devices to vehicles transporting children to schools.

The devices, similar to black boxes found in aircrafts, will monitor driving habits and performance.

The recorded data will automatically be sent to the drivers, Child Safe and the department.

The organisation says the leading cause of death among people between ages one and 18 is road crashes.

Child Safe is hoping the initiative, which will be trialled at Norma Road Primary School in Athlone, will save the lives.

In 2010, at least 11 schoolchildren were killed when a train crashed into their minibus taxi at the Buttskop Level Crossing in Blackheath.

Taxi driver Jacob Humphreys had overtaken a queue of cars waiting to cross the level crossing and ignored warning signals.

He was later convicted of 10 counts of murder and four of attempted murder.