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City Police Traffic Tips: Ensuring the safety of child passengers

2023-07-13  Correspondent

City Police Traffic Tips: Ensuring the safety of child passengers

 Community Policing Officer


As a parent, ensuring your child’s safety is always on your mind. However, this is not always the case when it comes to children in a car seat or safety belt. By now, strapping you and your children in should be a habit, but sadly there are still people who ignore the lifesaving feature of car seatbelts or car seats.

We all love to go on drives with our kids, and as a parent it can be very tempting to let your child stand in the vehicle to enjoy the view or to sit next to you in a front seat. But what happens when you break unexpectedly or when you are involved in an accident?

Airbags can save the lives of older children and adults, but they can be fatal for young children when not seated correctly, particularly in a front seat or in a car seat near an airbag. This is because children’s bones and muscles are still developing, and their head is larger than an adult in relation to their body size. This results in it being harder for children to maintain an upright position even in a slight collision, meaning they face a greater risk of coming face-to-face with the blunt force of the airbag as it expands.

It’s never a good idea to let your child sit in the front seat, even with the safety belt on. The force of an airbag can injure them. When a child is standing up in the vehicle, any sudden jerk can cause the child to fall or be thrown out of the vehicle through the windscreen, which can be very dangerous or fatal. In the same vein, having a child loose in the vehicle can be very distractive to the driver.

According to the Road Traffic and Transportation Act (1999) and Regulations (2001), the driver of a motor vehicle operated on a public road must ensure that a child seated on a seat of a motor vehicle, uses an appropriate child restraint, or if no child restraint is available, the child must wear a seatbelt seated in a rear seat. Failure to comply with the above mentioned, such driver is liable to a fine of up to N$750.

One of the most important jobs you have as a parent is keeping your child safe when they are in a vehicle, by properly securing them in a car seat or safety belt in the back seat. 

Even if your kids complains about wearing seat belts, don’t negotiate and don’t drive until they are buckled up. It is imperative that drivers are consistent with children being properly restrained by wearing safety belts!

The responsibility of road safety is everybody’s concern and executing your duties as a driver is essential in contributing to safety on our roads. The Windhoek City Police can be contacted on 061 2902239, or the toll-free no: 061-302 302. 

2023-07-13  Correspondent

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