Arrive Alive

Seatbelt Safety

Buckle up the kids, it may save their lives / Compulsory Wearing of Seatbelts

Buckling up is the simplest way to save your child's life - and do not insist on the wearing of seatbelts is "a form of neglect", said trauma doctors and traffic officials recently.

"Studies in the United States have shown that wearing seatbelts could have prevented 75 per cent of injuries in children under the age of four, and 50 per cent in children aged four to 12," said the head of the emergency and trauma unit at St Dominic's Hospital Dr Jeanne-Marie van der Westhuizen.

"We are failing our children by not enforcing the law that is there, by not using common sense and by not teaching our children to buckle up."

A chief traffic officer confirmed that it was compulsory for passengers and drivers to wear seatbelts in terms of regulation 213(4)of the National Road Traffic Regulation, under the National Road Traffic Act, 1996 (Act No 93 of 1996). Cognisance should also be taken of the prohibition by Regulation 213(5) of a person occupying a seat in a motor vehicle which is not fitted with a seatbelt, whilst those fitted with seatbelts are not occupied.

Penalties for not wearing a Seatbelt  / AARTO Act

July 2014: The latest LEGISLATED penalties UNDER THE AARTO ACT relating to seatbelts are as follows: 

Charge
Code
Description I/O Fine (R) Points
2850 Driver did not ensure that all persons were wearing seat belts
- Reg 213(11)
I 250 0
2852 Minibus exceeding 2500kg not fitted with seat belts for driver or passenger. - Reg 213(3)(b) I 500 1
2858 Adult occupied seat not fitted with a seat belt whilst other seats did have a seat belt. - Reg 213(5) I 250  
2860 Failed to ensure that a child used rear seat equipped with a seatbelt. - Reg 213(7) I 250 0
22861 Seatbelts did not comply with SANS specifications. - Reg 213(8)(a) I 250 0

You need to be aware of the following:

  1. AARTO makes provision for a 50% discount if the fine is paid within 32 days, therefore all of the above can be divided by two!

  2. AARTO is ONLY IN FORCE in the jurisdictions of the Johannesburg and Tshwane Metropolitan Police Departments.

  3. Fines in other Magisterial Districts can and probably will differ dramatically.

  4. There are 284 local authorities, 8 Metros and 9 Provincial authorities in South Africa and therefore the disparity between fines may be vast.

In my opinion, the penalties scheduled under AARTO for seatbelt infringements are pathetically low, especially in light of the fact that they carry NO demerit points for the physical (not roadworthy) infringements.  I don’t really care that the fine is applicable to each passenger not wearing a seatbelt since lives and injuries are not cheap.  Someone on Facebook made an awesome suggestion with respect to parents who allow their kids to not wear seatbelts, stand in cars, etc. “Force parents to sign organ donor cards for their kids they allow to stand in cars.”  I must admit that I am very tempted to write this suggestion into my submissions to the Department of Transport the next time I submit legislative comments – not just for children, but for everyone who doesn’t wear a seatbelt!  At least that way we could put the wasted lives to good use!

Howard Dembovsky

National Chairman - Justice Project South Africa (NPC)

 

Higher seatbelt wearing rates - Lower road death numbers

"The reason other countries have lower death rates on the road is that they have higher seatbelt wearing rates.
"You must buckle up your children at every opportunity whether they are two or 22 years old," she said.

The head of the department of trauma at Red Cross Children's Hospital in Cape Town, Professor Sebastian van As said that if an accident happens and a child is thrown out of the car, there is a 75 per cent chance that the child will die.

"Trauma kills more people under the age of 18 than any disease and the children most severely injured are from motor vehicle accidents," he said.
"The majority killed are pedestrians, but the second biggest number are those children thrown out of the car."

Van As said: "Children that are loose in the car are usually thrown and they become like missiles. If a child is in the back seat and the car has a collision travelling at 80km/h when the car comes to a stop the child becomes a projectile that can even decapitate the people sitting in the front seat."

He was equally vehement about the dangers of simply holding children on an adult's lap.

"Often parents are under the impression that it is okay for the child to be on their lap or held in their arms, but this is useless in an accident because of the huge forces (of gravity) are involved."

[ Information compiled by Taralyn Bro for an Article in the Daily Dispatch]

Also view:

Child Restraints and Road Safety

Car Seats for Children and Road Safety in SA

South African Law on Wearing Seatbelts

Pregnancy and Seatbelts

Seatbelt Presentation

Seatbelt Study

Loading...

Search Road Safety Articles

Latest Pages

Child Restraints and Road Safety

Child Restraints and Road Safety

Introduction to Child Restraints and Road Safety Increasing motorization worldwide has brought more crashes and injuries to vehicle occupants, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. One of the most effective measures to protect occupants from injury in the event of a crash is the fitment

Read More

Car Seats for Children and Road Safety in South Africa

Car Seats for Children and Road Safety in South Africa

Introduction: New legislation in South Africa is addressing a void that has for a number of years frustrated all those so deeply concerned with the safety of our children on the roads. The void referred to was specifically with regards to child passengers [infants] younger than 3 years old. Although

Read More

Promote buckling up and save a child’s life - A Medical Perspective

Promote buckling up and save a child’s life - A Medical Perspective

Introduction Despite Legislation requiring passengers to be Buckled Up, too many South Africans still fail to ensure that all passengers are safely secured inside their vehicles. Transport authorities, with the assistance of corporates such as Imperial, have gone to great lengths to create awareness

Read More

Imperial - your "Gateway to Africa"

Imperial - your "Gateway to Africa"

Imperial launched its milestone 'Gateway to Africa' campaign in July 2021. It is Imperial's strategic intent to become a 'One Imperial' business and serve as the 'Gateway to Africa' to its clients, principals and customers. The strategic decisions and actions the Group continues

Read More

Motorcycle Safety and Riding in Winter and on Icy Roads

Motorcycle Safety and Riding in Winter and on Icy Roads

On the Arrive Alive Website, with the assistance of the Motorcycle Safety Academy, we have shared information with our bikers on some of the techniques required for driving in bad weather. There are also some rather unique seasonal challenges as we approach this bitterly cold time of the year. We

Read More

Packing The Vehicle Safely For The Road Trip

Packing The Vehicle Safely For The Road Trip

Planning the Journey What you will pack for the road trip and how you will pack depends on how far you are to drive and the reason for your travels. There is a multitude of factors affecting the roadworthiness of your vehicle. These include tyre pressure, suspension, visibility through the windscreen,

Read More

Load More Pages

Partners

View All