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Imprisonment for not using child seats in cases of death or serious injury

Imprisonment for not using child seats in cases of death or serious injury

22/02/2016

Awareness campaigns and the gradual decrease of accidents result in fewer deaths of children under 12 years because they are not wearing a child restraint system. In 2009, 13 of 26 children under 12 who were killed were not wearing any child restraint system. In 2014, this figure went down to only 2 of the 14 children under 12 who were killed.

The child restraint system reduces deaths in children by 75 percent and up to 90 percent of injuries, according to a study by Fundación MAPFRE. Not using it increases the chances of death in case of an accident and is a serious offense, with fines of 200 euros and withdrawal of 3 points from the driver's license.

Repeat offenders to the Prosecutor for Minors

In recidivist cases, the law anticipates tougher sentences. Upon the third offense for not carrying the child with the appropriate child restraint system, the parent or guardian will be investigated by the Prosecutor for Minors who shall assess whether there is any reason to take protective measures for the child, such as protective surveillance or even suspension of guardianship.

Accidents with severe injuries and deaths

In case of accident with a child that is severely injured or killed and that was not wearing the child restraint system, if it is proved that the driver caused the accident by committing a violation, speeding, driving with a blood alcohol level higher than permitted, or any manifestly reckless conduct, prosecutors shall request an aggravation of the sentence.

In these cases the driver faces a sentence for reckless injury with imprisonment from 6 months to 2 years and deprivation of the right to drive from 1 to 4 years. In the case of fatal victims, the sentence for involuntary manslaughter is from 1 to 4 years imprisonment and withdrawal of the driver's license from 1 to 6 years.

For accidents with injured or killed children due to a minor offense (speeding slightly, alcohol level, minor recklessness), the prosecution may impute an offense to parents or guardians who were traveling in the vehicle but were not driving, if the child was not wearing a child restraint system. The offense will be proportional to the vulnerability of the child regarding their age and maturity.


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