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Children fatalities worry road Corps

31 December 2013, 08:09Augustine Osayande

Abuja - The Federal Road Safety Corps has reiterated the need for all motorists to ensure the safety of children in their vehicles.

This follows the spate of road crash fatalities involving children during the festive season.

The Corps is intensifying its awareness campaigns and patrol activities towards reversing this trend.

According to the Corps, available statistics on road crashes involving children during this year’s yuletide from December 19-28, indicate that 20 children were killed and 75 others injured in various road crashes involving 239 children. A total of 144 of them were rescued alive by FRSC patrol operatives.

“This is coming on the heels of the Corps’s  public advocacy, massive deployment of human and material resources and intensified patrol activities since December 19, which has resulted to a reduction in road crashes and fatalities in the initial five days yuletide special patrol, tagged “Operation Zero Tolerance,” according to Corps Public Education Officer Jonas Agwu."

The operation will end on 12 January 2014 in line with the Corps’ 2013 strategic goals of reducing road crashes by 20 percent and fatalities by 30 percent.

“Pursuant to this development, the Federal Road Safety Corps has reiterated its warning to parents and other drivers who convey children on their vehicles, to ensure that children are appropriately restrained when travelling in a motor vehicle, adding that children who are under 12 years should be restrained in the rear seats, in line with the provisions of the National Road Traffic Regulations, 2012, because air bags can injure or kill young children travelling in front seats, in the event of a crash,” said Agwu.

Agwu said one of the most effective measures to protect occupants from injury in the event of a crash is the fitment and use of seat-belts and child restraints.

“Restraints save lives and reduce injury severity - all vehicle occupants should be appropriately restrained when travelling in a vehicle.”

He said the un-restrained rear seat children passengers posed a serious threat to any restrained person seated directly ahead of them. A belted occupant should be kept in their seat and thus will reduce speed at the same rate as the car, so that the mechanical energy to which the body is exposed would be greatly reduced.

Thus the use of child restraints by rear seat children passengers could not only reduce the likelihood and severity of injury to themselves, but also to drivers and other front seat passengers.

“Consequently, the Corps has mandated its Commanding Officers to intensify enforcement of traffic rules and regulations bothering on child safety during the 2013 yuletide patrols which is slated to end on 12th January, 2014. Additional steps will be taken by FRSC operatives to conduct routine checks on vehicles conveying children to ensure that such children are properly positioned through restraints,” said Agwu.

– CAJ News


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