Children in public and school transport
Road deaths for children as passengers are on the rise. The RTMC does not distinguish between private, school, and public transport, but it is a concern that children in school and public transport don’t have the same safety options that children in private vehicles do
This campaign aims to:
- Raise awareness of the benefits of child restraints and safe seat belt use.
- Enable lower-income families to keep their children safe.
- Educate parents and children in the correct use of seat belts.
- Motivate change to the primary legislation, the National Road Traffic Act, 1996, Regulation 231 of the National Road Traffic act, 1999
Currently, the National Road Traffic Act, 1996, reads as follows:
National Road Traffic Regulations, 1999
Chapter VI: Fitness of Vehicles
Part IV: Loads on vehicles
- The manner in which children to be counted for purposes of regulations
- For the purposes of establishing the number of persons that may in terms of these regulations, other than regulation 263, be carried on any vehicle, other than a motorcycle, motor tricycle, motor quadricycle or pedal cycle –
- any child under the age of three years shall not be counted;
- two children of three years or over but under the age of six years shall be counted as one person; and
- three children of six years or over but under the age of 13 years shall be counted as two persons:
Disregarding fractions, the following are concerning:
- One child per seat is not required, therefore it is not mandatory for each child to have a seat belt.
- Seat belts are not safe for children under 1.5m tall.
- Car seats are not a solution because the vehicles are also used for adult transport.
- Teaching kids to use seat belts safely, without a concerted call for changes in legislation, is rather pointless for school transport.
Secure-a-Kid harnesses are easy to use, will reposition the seat belt to fit properly, will spread the impact of a crash, and prevent seat belt injuries. They also fit into a school bag. As much as we have to address the loading of vehicles, we have to also equip and empower children to keep themselves safe.
There are precious few transporters who have the safety of their passengers at heart. Secure-a-Kid harnesses can be used wherever there is a 3 point seat belt. The harness lends itself to branding with a road safety message.