Monday, November 30

Spain backs down in child road safety as road deaths increase

Spain has taken a step back in child road safety. While the general data offered by the DGT for 2019 show slight improvements in global road mortality figuresIf we refer to the fatal accident rate with children involved, an increase from 25 to 32 children died in road accidents was detected.

Watching the accident figures offered by the DGT, the number of deceased children between the ages of 12 and 14 also increased in 2019, from two occupants of passenger cars on interurban roads in 2018 to five in 2019, and so did the seriously injured, increasing from 12 to 17 children.

During 2019, 12 children died when they were circulating as pedestrians, a small when he used his bicycle, and a minor under 14 who was riding a motorcycle (to whom there are

According to data from the General Directorate of Traffic, about 90% of children use a child seat, but there are still a significant number of adults who ignore the rules and travel by car without properly protecting the minor. The correct use of restraint systems reduces the risk of injury in the event of an accident by between 50% and 80%.

There is also a decline in the use of child restraint systems (CRS), at least in the injury and accident data, since in 2018 it was indicated that all deceased children under 12 years old used the CRS, while in 2019 three deceased children under 12 years old did not use any restraint system, and one used only the seat belt.

It should also be noted that six of the seriously injured children and 22 slightly injured did not use a child seat or even a belt (which it is not a substitute for the protection of an adapted system and adjusted to the morphology of the child). Many of these injuries could have been avoided if they had correctly used a specific approved Child Restraint System according to the characteristics of the child and the vehicle.

The statistics presented by the DGT, which includes the 30-day accidents on urban and interurban roads that occurred in Spain during 2019, offer a worrying data: 32 children under 14 years old died in a road accident, which is seven more than in 2018 By type of claim, 17 children were traveling inside a vehicle, one of them in the city, which means six more deaths than in 2018, when all the fatal accidents occurred on interurban roads.

With these figures, the Spanish Alliance for Child Road Safety urgently requests a plan of measures to work on the prevention of these incidents, which includes awareness actions for those responsible for the safety of children, training for professionals and tax incentives so that the protection systems for children do not have the highest VAT.

According to Joan Forrellad, spokesperson for AESVi and Head of Research, Development and Design of the Jané Group “Adult three-point belts do not adapt correctly to the child, so it is important to use a child restraint system whose mission is to guide this belt, both in its diagonal and horizontal section, above the rigid parts of the body. For the child to travel safely, it is recommended that they use a chair with a backrest that allows a correct grip against side impacts and a perfect guide of the belt until the child reaches 150 centimeters in height, especially for frontal or rear impacts ”.

In order for the seat belt to be effective in its purpose of protecting, must be properly fastened and located: the horizontal band must be placed on the hip bones (iliac crests) and never on the abdomen because it causes very serious injuries to the internal organs, while the diagonal band must be well anchored in the clavicle, always between the head of the humerus and the neck, making sure that it does not rub against it because it could cause suffocation.

Given the increase in deceased children involved in a traffic accident, AESVI requests the following urgent measures:

Reduce VAT on child road safety systems: European Directive 2006/112 / EC includes CRS as goods subject to reduced VAT rates. VSeveral European countries already apply reduced VAT to child restraint systems, in Spain they are taxed with 21% VAT. “Due to their high proven effectiveness, we consider that protecting children in a car should not be a luxury and, therefore, we do not believe that taxing these systems with the highest VAT improves and encourages their purchase, and therefore their use », Clarify from the Association.

Improving training on the correct use of child restraint systems (CRS) is key to achieving the goal of zero serious and / or fatal injuries. Since the end of 2019 AESVi has successfully organized the first training courses for SRI sales consultants.

Investigate all serious and fatal road accidents in which a child is involved.

Investing in the improvement of infrastructures, a fundamental element in improving the road accident, especially thinking about the most vulnerable users and their protection. and permanently encourage social awareness campaigns on child road safety.

Increase safe spaces in the school zone to protect children when entering and leaving educational centers, and work towards an agreed standard on the necessary child safety in school transport. Improve Road Safety Education, training teachers and teaching staff on Child Road Safety, providing them with materials and resources.

From AESVI they consider that there is also room to improve the protection of children inside the vehicle, How to increase the use of the SRI up to 1.50 meters in height. Although the regulations in Spain only oblige children with a height equal to or less than 1.35 meters to use a child seat, the Spanish Alliance for Child Road Safety recommends its use at least until the child reaches a height of 1, 50 meters, and always with backrest.

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