Dave talks with RACT Community Manager Will Oakley who explains Tasmanian children are lacking knowledge on the proper use of seat belts, with RACT urging parents to ensure their kids know how to be safe inside a vehicle.
More than 500 students undertook RACT’s RoadSafe program in 2018-19.
Data from the program indicates that more than 25% of students did not have an adequate understanding of how to use seatbelts and why they are so important for safety.
Furthermore, 19% did not know how to be safe when travelling on a bus, 18%
didn’t know how to be a safe passenger and 17% did not know how to help a driver while travelling as a passenger.
On average, 11% of vehicle occupants killed or seriously injured in crashes in
Tasmania each year were not wearing seatbelts.
In light of the statistics, RACT Community Manager Will Oakley urged parents
to be more vigilant of their child’s safety.
“It is quite concerning that a quarter of students that undertook this RoadSafe program did not have adequate information about this importance of a seat belt,” he said.
“While we teach students about how to use seat belts and the dangers of not wearing them, we strongly urge parents and carers to ensure their child is guided on how to use a seat belt properly.”
Additionally, RACT also undertakes regular child restraint checks, with the support of Kidsafe Tasmania.
Over a 6 month period this year, RACT checked 163 child seats as part of free community checks, with 77% requiring an adjustment of some form.
Of these seats, 70% had loose seat belts, 31% had a twisted top tether and about 23% had a twisted harness strap.
An additional 14% of seats either didn’t have the top tether attached, or had it attached in an incorrect fashion. A further 9% also either had belts in the wrong path, or unbuckled altogether. Just 23% of seats didn’t require an adjustment.
An approved and properly fitted car seat can reduce the risk of death or serious injury in road crashes by up to 70%.
Mr Oakley said all children under the height of 145cm must be seated in an approved child restraint that is properly fastened and adjusted.
“While the legal age for using an adult seat belt is 7, we urge parents and carers to base the decision more on the child’s height as this is best practice,” he said.
These reminders come in the middle of the RACT’s Golden Rules of Road Safety campaign, aimed at reducing road deaths and serious injuries on the road. Two of the rules include “Buckle Up” and “Use a Child Safety Seat”.
The campaign involves students from three primary schools in the south, north and north-west discussing each of the 12 rules in a series of videos.
These videos are being posted on RACT’s social media channels each week, with the students setting challenges for Tasmanians to abide by on the road.
The 12 Golden Rules were created by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the representative body for auto clubs across the globe, to address the 3500 lives lost on the world’s roads each year.
Follow the campaign, until 30 September, on RACT’s social media channels
@RACTOfficial and website at www.ract.com.au/community/advocating-