Hundreds of Children Put at Risk
In the latest seven-day campaign that saw intensified surveillance for the use of seatbelts and child restraint systems, 240 children were found travelling in vehicles without any kind of safety retention system being used.
Of the 240 children found not secured in the vehicles, 64 of them were travelling in the front seats, where they are not permitted by law, although the law which dictates that they must be secured in the vehicle had already been ignored, so it is hardly surprising that the adults responsible would also be so blatant about that fact.
In the campaign which ran between the 13th and 19th of March, Guardia Civil traffic officers carried out checks on 341,845 vehicles, in which they detected 3,083 infractions, where drivers or passengers who did not make use of the regulatory retention system.
The campaign was also supported by regional and local police, who carried out their own checks, and Pegasus equipped helicopters from the DGT, monitoring from the air. These combined figures are still to be finalised and added to the total carried out by the traffic officers.
The data from the checks reveal that 99% of people who were caught not wearing a seatbelt were travelling on conventional roads, the type of road where 8 out of 10 road fatalities occur.
The seat belt is a basic and fundamental element of road safety, a life insurance. For this reason, its use is mandatory for all occupants of the vehicle and on all types of roads. In addition, the correct use of it is essential to fulfil the purpose for which it was created.
Children in Cars
Children measuring 135 cm in height or less must ride in the rear seats of a vehicle, irrespective of their age, and must sit in the correct and approved seat appropriate to their size and weight.
The Child Restraint Systems provide the best protection for a child when on board a vehicle. That is why the law dictates their use, in an attempt to enforce the maximum protection for children.
The use of child restraint systems reduces injuries by up to 75% in the event of a collision. According to data from the DGT, road traffic incidents are the leading cause of death amongst children under 14 years of age, and, tragically, 40% of those children who lose their lives wore no protection system, and, according to the statistics, could well be alive today.
The law also requires seats to be of an approved standard. Those which meet the minimum required standards carry an orange label, usually located at the rear, which guarantees that the seat has undergone a series of tests to prove safety and reliability.
The approval system is based on a European standard and EU regulation ECE-R44.03, which also ensures certain information is listed on the label.