One of the greatest challenges for road safety is ensuring that no one loses their life on the roads. However, there is still a long way to go before this becomes a reality. What challenges can be set in Spain this new year in order to make improvements in road safety and particularly children's road safety.
One of the thirteen goals of the ‘2011-2020 Road Safety Strategy’, approved by the Council of Ministers in 2011, is that no child under the age of 12 should die on the roads as a result of not using a child restraint system. The country started 2009 with 12 deaths for this reason and in 2015 there were 5 child fatalities who did not use a CRS and 3 children in 2016 who were not using one. 2017 ended with 5 child fatalities who were not using child car seats. All the information presented in this article has been obtained from the ‘The main Road Accident figures. Spain, 2017’ report, from the Department of Traffic.
In all, 35 children under 14 years old lost their lives on the roads (7 more than in 2016), 346 were hospitalized with serious injuries and 6611 had minor injuries.
In terms of passenger cars, 17 of these children died in a car, 110 were seriously injured and 3975 suffered minor injuries. This shows that there is still a long way to go before we can reach the desired 'Goal Zero' and that there is much work to be done in order to reach it as soon as possible.
We will go on to take a look at some of the basic tenets which need to be improved.
-Undoubtedly, a fundamental premise: more widespread use of child restraint systems. As pointed out, 5 of the children who died in 2017 were not using a child restraint system in their car or van. Furthermore, 5 of those hospitalized were also not using this crucial safety system.
How can we improve on this? Through raising awareness in society in general and, of course, educating parents, guardians and young children.
-Positioning the seat and securing the child in it correctly. Merely having a child seat is not good enough. It must be approved, properly installed and the child must be secured in it correctly. Take a look at some of our tips.
-Educating pedestrians. We should not forget that first and foremost we are pedestrians, as well as vehicle users. Young children must learn to be responsible pedestrians.
-Improving roads, paths and crosswalks and ensuring clear signposting in order to combat pedestrian road accident rates. Eight children died on city roads as pedestrians. Moreover, 169 were seriously wounded and 1647 suffered minor injuries in 2017, according to figures from the Department of Traffic.
-A greater number of safe school routes so that children can walk to school in safety.
-Correct bicycle use. This is one of the most frequently used methods of transport by young children. In 2017, 4 children died in Spain while riding a bicycle, 27 were seriously injured and 357 were injured but not hospitalized. We should be aware that using a bicycle properly means we need to know all the rules of the road in this regard. Take a look at some of our tips. You must always wear a helmet while riding a bicycle.
-Improvements in school transport. Ideally all school buses would be newer and have seat belts and, where possible, be equipped to have child restraint systems installed on them. Current regulations are not particularly strict in this regard and it is only compulsory for buses to have seat belts if they are registered from 2007 onwards. The legislation also does not specify how children under 3 years old should be traveling. In this infographic we have gathered together our main tips.
-Widespread use of reminder systems so that no child is left locked inside a vehicle.