198 Unprotected Children Spotted in a Week

During the last campaign focussing on seat belt and child restraint use, more than 260,000 vehicles were checked, with 2,992 people found not wearing a seat belt, and 198 children having been found to have been put in a situation of extreme danger by not being properly restrained.

During the campaign, which ran for a week until the 17th of September, coinciding with the return to school, 2,094 adults and 198 children were found not wearing any type of retention system.

Of the 2,094 adults, 1,388 were drivers and 706 passengers (382 of them in the front seats and 324 in the rear).

In the case of the children, the responsibility of which lies with the driver, 198 were not wearing a seat belt or child restraint system and 41 were travelling in the front seats.

During the seven days, traffic officers report that 73% of those detected not wearing a seat belt were on conventional roads, the location for the highest percentage of fatal and serious incidents.

The seat belt is a basic and fundamental element of road safety, a life insurance. For this reason, its use is mandatory for all occupants of the vehicle and on all types of roads. In addition, the correct use of it is essential for it to fulfil the purpose for which it was created.

Since last week, fifty seat belt control cameras have been put into official operation, having completed their testing phase, which detect if vehicle occupants are not wearing seat belts. These cameras support the activities from officers on the ground, and in the air, all aimed at ensuring safety on the roads.

Remember, children under 135cm must travel in the rear seats, and must be restrained in an approved system suitable for their height and weight.

The only exceptions to the front seat rule are when the vehicle does not have rear seats, when all the rear seats are already occupied by other smaller children of the same characteristics, and when it is not possible to install all child restraint systems in such seats.

If children must occupy the front seats, they must always have the approved appropriate restraint system for their weight and size and if the vehicle has a front airbag, only rear-facing restraint systems can be used if the airbag has been deactivated.

Child restraint systems shall always be installed in the vehicle in accordance with the instructions provided by the manufacturer, which shall indicate the form and type of vehicles to be used safely.

In addition to monitoring the use of seatbelts, the traffic officers also monitored the use of crash helmets, the most important safety device for users on two wheels, motorcycles, mopeds and bicycles.

In the seven days, 34,000 checks were carried out, from which 75 people were found not wearing a helmet, of which 22 were motorcyclists, 22 on mopeds and 31 cyclists.