The Directorate General of Traffic (DGT) is implementing a special surveillance campaign on seat belt and child restraint system use this week. Moreover, the DGT has announced that it is testing three cameras located on highways to control seat belt use. There are plans to install a total of 270 in all.
In spite of the fact that we all know wearing a seat belt can save our lives, 194 of the 822 deaths of automobile and van occupants in 2014 (i.e. 24 percent to be exact) were not wearing one. As far as child safety seats are concerned, 2 out of 14 children under twelve that were traveling in an automobile or van in 2014 were not wearing any safety device at the time of the accident. Moreover, neither 9 of the 82 seriously injured nor 107 of 2,724 with minor injuries were wearing one. Such figures have led the DGT to insist on the responsibility of adults when it comes to driving safely with children and prioritizing their safety.
For one week, officers from the Traffic Group will be checking that vehicle occupants on highways have correctly put their seat belts on. Special emphasis is to be given to minors to ensure that they are perfectly secured in their corresponding seat.
CAMERAS THAT SEE ALL
This roadside device is to be supplemented by the surveillance done by those cameras already installed on highways. At present, the DGT is testing three of them on highways A-1, A-2 and A3 in Madrid. However, the idea is to have 270 cameras installed by the end of the year to control seat belt wearing.
Accordingly, the DGT has announced that sixty percent of these cameras will be installed on highways, which are the roadways that register the highest accident rates, while the remaining forty percent are to be installed on the busiest roadways.
In several of the trial samples done with cameras, two percent of drivers of vehicles were caught driving without a seat belt.
The images captured by the cameras are sent remotely to the center in Estrada de León, where a check is done to confirm whether or not the driver was wearing a seat belt. The vehicle owner is then sent a citation to identify the driver.
THE SAFETY BELT, A CLICK THAT SAVES LIVES
A survey on the use of seat belts conducted by the DGT reveals that this safety device is worn less on urban roadways. As a result, the DGT has asked town councils that have their own local police force to join the campaign by carrying out these controls on the roadways under their authority.
Moreover, it has also been confirmed that seat belt wearing is more frequent in front than rear seats. Nevertheless, 10 out of every 100 people traveling in front are not wearing a seat belt. Passengers in rear seats are twice as unlikely to use seat belts. It must be pointed out that 20 out of 100 people sitting in the rear do so without using a seat belt.
You must not forget that a simple click can save your life:
- It reduces the risk of death in an accident by half.
- It distributes the forces of the impact on the strongest parts of the body.
- It prevents the occupant from being thrown from the vehicle in the case of impact.
- It prevents occupants injuring each other.
- It works in addition to the airbag, given that the latter on its own has no effect.
MINORS IN REAR SEATS
So that no child dies in a traffic accident as a result of not being correctly secured in a child safety seat, highway officers can immobilize the vehicle in which the minor is traveling without the appropriate child restraint device.
To check how young children must travel as of October 1, 2015 you can consult the article entitled ‘Comparison between old and new regulations for CRS installation’. Neither should you miss our VIDEO - Classification of child restraint systems to ensure you select the most appropriate child safety seat.
Accordingly, DGT emphasizes that child restraint systems have to be fitted in accordance with manufacturer instructions, which will indicate the manner and in what type of vehicles they can be fitted most safely. The DGT recommends that these systems be fitted, whenever possible, rear-facing particularly for children under 15 months old.
We must also highlight the new European Union (EU) regulation on child safety seats: Regulation UNECE R-129 or I-Size, which is the new European regulation for child safety seats that will be enforce in tandem with the current R44 regulation over the next few years. You can find all the information you need and resolve any questions you may have at ‘Normativa i-Size’.
This new R-129 regulation arises from the updating of the R44 regulation that was required to adapt it to new technological advances and to ensure that all child safety seats are compatible with automobiles
MOST IMPORTANT CHANGES:
- Child safety seats will now be classified by the height of the user rather than the age or weight of the child.
- It requires the use of the ISOFIX system. This is a safety seat anchorage system that has 2 or 3 anchoring points.
- The side impact test has been introduced.
- I-SIZE child safety seats will be fully compatible with automobile seats that must also be i-SIZE ones. The combination of CRS and the automobile seat will be of the “Universal” type.
- Both the seat and its occupant must not weigh over 33 kg.