Experts demand robust legislation to make road travel safer for kids

Experts demand robust legislation to make road travel safer for kids

Submitted by Editor on Sat, 2017-01-14 11:22 Bengaluru: Did you know that about 20 children are killed every day in India due to road crashes? Road crashes are estimated to cause a loss of 3�o our GDP. Road safety experts, who met on the occasion of National Road Safety Week, demanded robust legislation and strict enforcement of road safety norms to avoid the loss of young productive lives.Dr. Kripa Amar Alva, chairperson of Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) said parents themselves were guilty of endangering children’s lives. “Every morning I see young children being ferried on two-wheelers by their parents or care providers being dropped to schools. It is disheartening to see the parents wearing helmets but offering no protection whatsoever to the two or three children they have on two-wheelers with them,” she said, adding that all these risky behaviors were tragedies waiting to happen.Dr. Pragati Hebbar from the Road Safety Initiative for Safe Karnataka (RISK) listed the options available to make road travel safer for children. “To name a few, use of child restraints in four wheelers and appropriate protective headgear for two-wheelers, public transport, cycling, vehicle pooling, etc.  There is also some new thinking in this line wherein some innovators are trying to create an airbag sort of protective headgear for very young children which can be wrapped to their head and in case of impact it would expand like an airbag and protect the child’s head. There also seem to be some protective strap-on belts which can ensure the child is not flung away in case of a crash,” he said.Experts said the recent amendment to Motor Vehicles Act seems to address child safety to some extent by including child restraints, but contained no specifications for children under the age of four years riding on two-wheelers.C P Narayana Swamy, Additional Commissioner, Transport, said the department was aware of the need for effective enforcement of road safety law. He said the department would strive to ensure the safety of children on road.