According to the Medical Research Council (MRC) 1 513 children died in traffic accidents in Gauteng between 2008 and 2011. And up until now, parents were not legally required to buckle up or provide appropriate safety and booster seats for kids under the age three, but that’s about to change with the amendment of the National Road Traffic Regulations 2000 under the National Road Traffic Act, 1996.
Department of Transport spokesperson Tiyani Rikhotso said adults will now be required to buckle children under the age of three with appropriate child restraints.
“It’s long overdue. For 20 years there has been no seatbelt law for children under the age of three. It was an indictment of our country, and was probably done for people who could not afford to buy child safety seats,” said Professor Sebastian van As, president of Childsafe and head of trauma at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town
“Children under the age of six are unable to secure their own safety; it is up to adults to do this. The new law includes minibus taxis,” Professor Van As said.
Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US has found that strapping babies into appropriate car seats reduces the risk of death in car crashes by 71%, among properly strapped-in toddlers between one and four years old, this risk drops by 54%.