With the aim of increasing road safety and controlling driver’s speed in 14 provinces the DGT (General Traffic Department), has a budget of 2 million euros for the acquisition of 30 of the latest model of radar speed camera. The new speed cameras can measure speeds up to 320km/hr. from fixed panels, which can be attached to the side of a parked vehicle.
This initiative, which has been widely publicized, has the intention of t creating a greater awareness of the importance of respecting speed limits . Always staying within the limits could save up to a quarter of all road deaths since the severity of injuries sustained in a car crash is proportional to the speed on impact. To give a clear picture of this we shall compare a car crash to falling from a building. At 20km/hr. a crash would be equivalent to falling 1.6 meters, doesn’t sound a lot but deaths begin to occur at only at 25km/hr. when driving without a seatbelt or a child restraining system.
Lets increase the speed and the height of the fall. At 45km/hr. the impact is about the same as falling 3 floors. At 75, from the eighth floor, at 100 it’s like falling 40 meters, the same height as the famous Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro. At 120, it’s similar to falling off the leaning tower of Pisa, 54 meters. At 160km/hr. it’s like throwing yourself with no protection from a height of 100 meters… A risk far too great and it still hasn’t sunk in? In the first place, moderate your speed whenever possible to ensure the safety of all those in the vehicle and take all necessary precautions especially with the most vulnerable, children.
For your safety, another of the measures taken by the DGT involves the compliance with the new regulations for the use of child seats. As of 2014 the law establishes the obligation to use a system of child restraint suitable for their weight and height when carrying children and also details where in the vehicle they should be situated: for those under 135cms in height, and approved seat suitable for their weight and height should be placed on the rear seats. For those over 135cms, an adult seatbelt should be used (always ensuring that it is correctly adjusted and the use of a booster seat where necessary). The correct adjustment of the seatbelt signifies . Only in exceptional circumstances should a child travel in the front seat and only if the rear seats are occupied by other children or in a two-seater car. A baby should always be carried in the front with the child seat facing backwards (much safer for those up to 3-4 years of age) although from 3-4 years old, facing forward is better but the passenger airbag must be deactivated.
It is worth remembering why these measures are taken by the DGT; they are simply to increase the safety of our roads so that we can all travel with the minimum of risk. We must always respect the traffic regulations, not only to avoid getting a fine but for our safety and that of our passengers and everybody using the roads. This aim shared by the MAPFRE FOUNDATION is that everyone has in mind that driving safely is not just driving better but is VITAL.