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Readers respond: Biggest reason for parent's not buckling up their kids

2016-10-24 08:30

PLEASE BUCKLE UP YOUR CHILD: 70% of Wheels24 readers believe the biggest reason parents are not securing their children in vehicles is due to 'irresponsible behvaiour'. Image: MasterDrive


Watch the horrifying moment a BMW driver is flung from his car during a huge crash.

Cape Town - Since the introduction of SA legislation that requires passengers under three years of age to be in a child seat, little has changed in the way many people transport children.

According to the Automobile Association (AA), strict enforcement of the law is needed along with more compliance among drivers. 

Global research has shown that putting a child in a car or booster seat (which is properly fastened) reduces the chance of death or serious injury in crashes significantly.

Despite this, many people still do not use car seats for their children using excuses such as: “I’m only driving a short distance”, or “I’m going to be driving overnight so there’ll be less traffic on the road”.

Reasons for not buckling-up

We asked Wheels24 readers 'What’s the biggest reason for parent’s NOT buckling-up their kids?' and our poll garnered thousands of responses.

The majority readers 71% (4081 votes) said it's due to "irresponsible behaviour", 386 (7%) said "it’s not always easy to control kids in vehicles" and 2% (138) said it's "because older vehicles are not equipped with seatbelts". The remaining 20% (1181) said it's attributed to "ignorance of the law and road safety". 

The AA said: “When the law came into effect in July 2015 we welcomed the change to the legislation, and called on authorities to ensure a wide education and enforcement campaign was launched to ensure infants get the protection the law provides. We are dismayed that too many people are failing to buckle up and protect children in the car."

Have you encountered children unbuckled in a car? Have you attempted to confront a parent disobeying this law? Email us.

READ: Harsh truth - Here's why you as a parent should buckle-up your child

Readers respond:

Helen Steenkamp: I have often confronted parents who do not buckle up their children. Almost all of them are rude and tell you to mind your own business.  There definitely needs to be a more concerted effort to encourage parents. Traffic officers stand at the side of the road and watch cars pass by with kids standing between the seats or sitting on the laps of the passenger.
The approach overseas is to stop these vehicles and reprimand the parents in front of their children. I have just spent three months in Canada and not once did I see and unbuckled child. We are way behind in enforcing this vital law. 

Taý Tido Sthizobery: Child seats are so expensive these days

Katiso Mosebi: Yes... I have stopped one of my neighbours whom from their house I saw him buckling up and not doing so to the child at the back. I confronted him and he responded appropriately to the request. Kids stand at a high risk as any slight harsh brake or even a small bump from either back or front may lead to serious consequence to the child. There needs to be wider awareness campaign which includes television broadcast or adverts to bring awareness to the public. There are clips from YouTube that illustrates such incident where kids are not buckled and show the consequences of such practice.

Leon Pelser: It is not surprising that less than 7% of children in cars are wearing seatbelts, as road rules have become irrelevant. Far less than 7% of drivers stop at a stop sign, never mind obey any other road rules.

WATCH: Controversial campaign - This horror SA ad will make you buckle-up

Dewald Erasmus: I drive from Cape Gate area to Paarl every day and I see at least on person having children in the car either smoking with small children in the car and the child/ children not wearing safety belts. I see it quite often that the driver or adults are wearing safety belts (because traffic officers target that sometimes) but then the children aren’t wearing anything.

When you confront them you get sworn at, shown the middle finger and told to mind your own business. More emphasis should be put on this by traffic officers than hiding behind bushes and looking for quick bucks with speed traps.

Sibusiso Mbokazi: My kids know that the car will not move an inch if they don't have seat belts on.
I just look at them and they know this man means seat belts on. I haven't really tried to approach anyone that I have seen with kids standing close to the windscreen with the car in motion.

Ayesha Rangila: What about those mums who drive with their babies on their laps? I have even seen one mum breast-feeding her baby while driving. How stupid can people be? If the baby is injured in an accident while on mums lap, those mums should be locked up.

READ: AA - 'Road safety is literally in your hands'

Cornelius Pretorius: I see this every day. I have confronted a mother who became very angry at me for pointing this out. These parents should be prosecuted with heavy fines and or criminal sentences. What are they thinking? No respect for their own kids' lives. PATHETIC.

Norma Boyce: I have stopped many young Mums and the reply is 'this is my child so don't tell me what to do'. One Granny did comply though??

Have you encountered children unbuckled in a car? Have you attempted to confront a parent disobeying this law? Email us.


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