The Spanish Directorate General for Traffic (DGT) has launched a special surveillance campaign to raise people´s awareness about the importance of using seat belts and child restraint systems. The campaign is being rolled out to coincide with the start of the new school year for thousands of children.
From Monday 12 September, through to Sunday 18 September, the DGT is increasing highway surveillance controls and undertaking an intensive awareness-raising campaign with the aim of reducing the number of deaths and injuries from the failure to use a restraint system.
Traffic police will check that all the occupants of vehicles are wearing seat belts, with a particular emphasis on ensuring that children are properly secured in their respective child seats.
In this respect, the DGT wishes to remind adults that being in a hurry or only going a short distance on the school run are no excuse for not fastening a seat belt or securing children properly in their child restraint system. The fact is that these short runs are exactly the kind of journeys on which people take the most risks.
In the ‘Children´s Road Safety’ section we draw your attention to the article ‘Tips and advice for safer school transportation’ along with the post ‘My child is starting school: which is the best way of getting there?’.
We should not forget that four of the fifteen children under the age of 12 who died in 2015 were traveling in a car or van without any kind of safety device at the time of the accident. Eight of the 80 children hospitalized from accidents were not wearing any kind of restraint system either.
Many people are still not transporting their children correctly and seem unaware that since 1 October 2015 it is a requirement for children under 135 cm in height to use an officially-approved child restraint system suitable for their height and weight, and that this must be positioned on the back seat. There are three exceptions to this rule:
- If the vehicle does not have any back seats.
- If all the back seats are already occupied by other children with the same characteristics.
- If it is impossible to install any kind of child restraint system in the back seats.
We always recommend that children travel in the back seat facing away from the direction of travel for as long as possible, as this has been proven to be the safest option.
You should remember that the traffic police are authorized to immobilize the vehicle if you are traveling with young children without the appropriate child restraint system.
You should also bear in mind that it is not enough to have a child restraint system if it is not fitted properly and the child is not adequately secured in it. For this reason, and in view of the numerous queries that may arise, our ‘Children´s Road Safety’ section offers a wealth of useful information on how to transport your children correctly.
We would especially like to highlight our infographic on the different ways of securing children in child seats and how to check that the child seat is properly installed.
222 SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS DEPLOYED TO CAPTURE TRAFFIC OFFENSES
The traffic police´s scope is being widened with the introduction of 222 roadside surveillance cameras as an automated check on the use of these safety devices. The Traffic Department has revealed that these cameras will shortly be increased by another 55, bringing the total to 277.
Some 60% of the cameras will be installed on regular roads, which are those with the highest accident rates, and the other 40% on high-density highways.
On test runs with the cameras, 1% of drivers were shown to be traveling without a seat belt.
During the first month of operation, the Traffic Department will send the drivers identified by the cameras a letter explaining that they were not using a seat belt and that the fine for this infringement is 200 euros and the loss of three points from their license (in the event that the driver was the person not wearing a seat belt). One month later any vehicle user identified by the surveillance cameras as not wearing a seat belt will be processed accordingly.
We should not forget that the Pegasus system already checks whether children are traveling in the appropriate child restraint system, among other offenses, as you can see in the photos provided below.