Keep your child alive, invest in child seats

Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) has called on all stakeholders and parents to invest in child seats.

“Infants and children need child restraint systems that accommodates their size and weight, and can adapt to cope with the different stages of their development,” the RTMC said in a statement.

RTMC further urged municipalities to provide speed calming measures around schools and design safe play areas to reduce the number of children dying on South African roads.

It said child restraints are very effective and it has been shown that, if properly installed and used, they can reduce road deaths among infants by 70%.

They can also reduce the chances of sustaining clinically significant injuries by 59% among children aged 4–7 years.

“Appropriate child restraint systems are specifically designed to protect infants and young children from injury during a collision or a sudden stop by restraining their movement away from the vehicle structure and distributing the force of a crash over the strongest parts of the body, with minimum damage to the soft tissues,” the RTMC said.

Child restraints are required by law in South Africa.

At total of 764 child pedestrians died in 2016 compared to 743 who died in 2017. Furthermore, a total of 428 passengers in the age group (0-14) died in 2016 compared to 334 in 2017.

Fatalities for the passengers aged between 0-14 reduced by 22% in comparison of the two years, 2016 and 2017 and fatalities for pedestrians aged between 0-14, reduced by 3% in comparison of the two years.

The RTMC supports World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations that spaces for walking and cycling should be given priority in the design of roads to improve child safety.

“We also support calls for the construction of traffic-calming measures to reduce speed and the provision of safe spaces for play and physical exercise,” RTMC said. –