On March 22 of this year the new Traffic Law will enter into force . This regulation has already been reformed, with a consolidated text that includes new infractions or harsher penalties in the points card .
Among the novelties reflected there will also be serious penalties for those drivers who drive minors without their corresponding child restraint system or used incorrectly.
But although this is undoubtedly an important step for the protection of children on the road, the experts from the Spanish Alliance for Children’s Road Safety (AESVi) believe that it is not enough, and call for more measures.
We will tell you what the main changes will be in the new Traffic Law in terms of child road safety , and what proposals are requested from AESVi to achieve the goal of zero deaths and serious injuries to children in traffic accidents.
Serious penalties for drivers who do not use or misuse CRS
Currently it is considered a serious offense not to use child restraint systems (CRS) in the transport of minors who are obliged to use it. But starting in March of this year, this rule will be toughened, and will also include the inappropriate use of CRS.
In this way, the driver who drives a minor without his corresponding SRI or this is not used correctly , will be sanctioned for a serious infraction that will lead to the loss of 4 points from the license (currently there are 3 points).
In addition, the agents of the authority in charge of traffic surveillance could immobilize the vehicle when its use is mandatory, the driver does not carry the minor in his CRS.
CRS save lives
Although tougher penalties can help drivers become more aware of the mandatory and appropriate use of CRS , the truth is that parents and adults responsible for transporting minors should just know that using child seats correctly car reduces by 80% the risk of death and serious injury to children in the event of an accident.
In addition, it is necessary to understand that it is not enough to acquire an approved CRS , but that one must know how to use it correctly , know how the different safety devices that make up the chair work and become aware of the use of rear-facing systems for as long as possible (or as minimum up to four years ).
Similarly, it is essential that parents know those incorrect practices that endanger children when we travel by road .
Goal: zero child deaths and serious injuries in traffic accidents
According to road accident data published by the General Directorate of Traffic , in 2020 17 children died in traffic accidents , and although the new Law will incorporate important and positive measures regarding child road safety, AESVi experts believe that there are certain gaps and ambiguities that need to be corrected.
Thus, for example, the following questions arise:
- Who will define the criteria for incorrect use of these security systems?
- How will parents know how to use a child restraint system properly ?
- How will law enforcement determine when a child restraint system is being used correctly or incorrectly?
For this reason, the experts ask the General Directorate of Traffic that the new measures included in the Traffic Law be accompanied by correct training for sellers of child restraint systems, for families and also for police forces , who must know how to identify with absolute clarity when security systems are not being used correctly.
Other measures proposed to improve the safety of children on the road
Likewise, and with the aim of not having to regret a single death or child injury related to traffic , AESVi demands that the competent authorities, in addition to the Traffic Law and as a complement to it, take the following measures :
- The creation of an Accident Registry with minor victims , which helps to better understand what happens in an accident involving children, in order to improve their safety and reduce the risk of injury.
- The improvement of urban infrastructures , which must take into account the special needs of the youngest (school paths, safe bus stops, improvement of signage, enabling bike lanes…)
- The reduction of VAT on child restraint systems .
- The establishment of a unified standard for school transport and the mandatory installation of three-point seat belts in these buses , as well as CRS for the safety of the youngest children.
- The regulation of the transport of minors in taxis and VTCs to make the use of CRS mandatory in this type of vehicle (currently, the Traffic Law refers only to taxis and does not require minors under 135 cm to travel in these vehicles with a CRS ).
- Include driver education in the educational curriculum , so that society becomes aware from an early age.