Automobile Association urges parents to set an example
One of the biggest tragedies in South Africa is the preventable death of hundreds of children in cars on our roads each year. Too often parents do not secure their children while driving and the consequences of this negligence are severe injuries and fatalities.
The Automobile Association (AA) believes large reductions in traffic fatalities are possible if everyone in the vehicle is properly buckled up. Research has shown that wearing seatbelts reduces the risk of death in crashes by up to 72%.
“In May new legislation came into effect requiring that children under the age of three travel in SABS-approved car seats. We welcome this regulation and believe it is an important move towards dealing with road injuries and fatalities, especially among children,” the AA noted.
The relevant legislation is contained in the National Road Traffic Act in Section (6A) of Regulation 213. It states that:
“The driver of a motor vehicle operated on a public road shall ensure that an infant (a person below the age of three years) traveling in such a motor vehicle is seated on an appropriate child restraint: Provided that this provision shall not apply in a case of a minibus, midibus or bus operating for reward. Reg 213 (6A) will be in force as from 30 April 2015.”
Parents traveling with children this festive season should set the example and buckle up before leaving. All children in the vehicle must also wear seatbelts or be secured in car seats.
The AA offers these tips car seats and safe driving:
If your child has outgrown a car or booster seat, make sure they are sitting and properly buckled, even if the journey will be short. On longer journeys make sure your child is occupied and does not disturb you while you are driving.
“Drivers who are distracted are extremely dangerous. Children who aren’t secured in the back seat cause the driver to turn around, and even if it is for just a few seconds, may lead to a serious collision. Children who are buckled up can read or entertain themselves on safe electronic devices,” said the AA.
The AA said
stopping every two hours or 200 kilometres for a rest and to stretch legs will
also break the monotony of the road making the journey easier and less
stressful for the children as well as the adults.
Seatbelt Digital Infographic
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