Buckle Up: Road traffic injuries leading cause of child deaths, as per WHO

Based on the data from the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 1.35 million people worldwide die each year as a result of road traffic crashes, and for children and young adults, road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death, shared an official of advocacy law firm on Saturday’s Buckle Up! episode.

Radyoman Rod Marcelino was joined by Atty. Daphne Marcelo of ImagineLaw, a non-profit law organization that fully supports the implementation of the Republic Act (RA) No. 11229 or the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act, due to the aforementioned data and science-based evidences.

Marcelo said the legislation aims to protect children from traffic fatalities, most especially as they have more vulnerable body parts than fully-grown adults. Regular seat belts are designed for an adult’s body, she explained, and thus will not protect children in the event of a crash.

Asked whether sitting on the lap is enough to protect a child during a road crash, Marcelo said that the weight of a child cannot withstand the force of the car crash even with the parents’ embrace. She went on and stated that the impact could be much worse if the crash happened if the parent had actually fallen asleep.

While the law is still in soft enforcement, Marcelo encouraged parents and drivers to voluntarily comply and not wait for enforcers to approach them and check on their compliance. She added, “Hindi lang dapat compliance, dapat isa-puso ng bawat driver, parent, caregiver or guardian ng mga batang nakasakay sa pribadong sasakyan.”

On the provisions of the RA 11229, Marcelo said: “Ang nasasakop ngayon ng mandato ay sa mga pribadong sasakyan muna. Ngunit sa ilalim ng RA 11229, inaatasan ang Department of Transporation na aralin muna ang possibility na irekomenda sa congress na gamitin ang child car seats sa mga public utility vehicles (PUVs).” Other protections are afforded to PUV passengers, regardless of age, including the Road Limiter Act and the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act.

“Ang layunin nitong batas ay maprotektahan ang mga bata. Huwag po tayong maging reaktibo at magsisi kung sakaling magkaroon ng banggaan at hindi natin naprotecktahan ang ating mga anak. Maging protective tayo at gawin ang lahat ng makakaya natin para siguraduhing ligtas ang ating mga pasahero,” Marcelo said.

The Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act states that children 12 years old and below with a height of 4 foot 11 inches and below are required to use child restraint systems (CRS). To stay informed regarding RA 11229, Buckle Up! will break down everything about the law on Tuesdays at 3:30 PM, Thursdays at 3:30 PM, and Saturdays at 8:00 AM on Radyo DZXL 558.

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