Be road-safe and savvy this Easter weekend

By Drum Digital
01 April 2015

Parents travelling with their toddlers will be obliged, by law, to strap them into a car seat come 30 April 2015.

Cape Town -

The Minister of Transport Dupuo Peters is introducing the new regulation to the National Road Traffic Act officially as of 1 May but in an attempt to stem the carnage on South Africa's roads, especially over the holiday periods, law enforcement officers will be cracking down on parents who do not put the safety of their children first.

According to the law, the intent of which was announced on 31 October 2014, all children under three-years-old will have to be strapped into a car seat when travelling in a car. According to the department this would have allowed enough time for motorists to acquire the necessary car seat equipment when it comes into effect from 1 May 2014. During the launch of the 2015 Easter Road Safety Campaign, Peters said that even though a 26% decline in road deaths was encouraging, road deaths were still a major cause for concern in South Africa.

Statistics also show that road accidents, including accidents involving pedestrians, are the main cause of death for children under the age of five in South Africa.

Statistics also show that road accidents, including accidents involving pedestrians, are the main cause of death for children under the age of five in South Africa.

The Easter road death toll dropped from a staggering 201 in 2013, to 148 in 2014, according to the Department of Transport. Arrive Alive Research Data and Statistics on the importance of seatbelts and restraining toddlers in car seats show seatbelts overall reduce the probability of being killed by 40 50% for drivers and front seat passengers and by about 25% for passengers in rear seats.Additionally, ejection from a vehicle is one of the most serious events that can happen to a person in a crash, with 75% of all vehicle occupants ejected from a vehicle in a crash dying as a result.

The research states seat-belts are effective in preventing ejections, since overall, 44% of unrestrained passenger vehicle occupants killed are ejected, partially or totally, from the vehicle, as compared to only 5% of restrained occupants. Most importantly, the study shows that child safety car seats that are correctly installed and used for children aged 0 4 years can reduce the risk of death for infants by 70% and by 47 54% for children aged 1 4 years.

This state of affairs on our roads is unacceptable and it must be confronted with the seriousness it deserves. As South Africans, we need to change our attitudes on our roads and be alive to the fact that our roads are a national asset which is regulated by the laws and must be respected and observed by all, Peters said.

Peters also issued the following stern warning to all South African road users, "Last year 283 323 vehicles were stopped at these operations whereby 43 433 fines were issues, 1094 vehicles were discontinued and 1457 were impounded. A total of 330 people were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. Therefore our message to those who want to break the rules of the road is clear. We will catch you and there will be dire consequences. Be warned."

News24 Wire

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