On 14 January 2014, EASST partner the Automobile Club of Moldova in partnership with the National Patrol Inspectorate took to the streets to inform drivers of the importance of using child restraints.

According to Article 82.1. of the Road Traffic Regulation of the Republic of Moldova: “Children aged up to 12 can be transported only in the car equipped with a child restraint system (or other means of adaptation for seat belt: cushion or booster that enables the standard application of seatbelt), with the following requirements: child restraint system is fitted according to safety standards, child restraint system is used according to the child’s weight and size, the seat position allows the proper application (pelvis/shoulder) of a seat belt.”

The ACM’s Tatiana Mihailova with the National Patrol Inspectorate hand out free seat belt adapters

Child restraints serve two important functions: to provide children with comfort during transportation and with safety in case of spontaneous maneuvering or a collision. Tests show that child restraints reduce risk of death by 70% and risk of injury by 60% among children in the case of a car crash.

During the “Buckle Up For Life” action, the ACM and National Patrol Inspectorate checked if children were being transported in car seats or other special restraint systems. Only 1 of 10 children was being transported according to the Road Traffic Regulation. The most common reason cited by drivers for not adhering to the regulation was financial, stating that child car seats are too expensive.

For children aged 7 to 12 years, the use of a restraint system or adapter to enable the correct application of a seat belt is permitted. The adapter adjusts the seat belt position, fixing it far from the child’s face and neck, so that child will have a safe and comfortable trip. These devices are cheaper but equally effective.

During the action, drivers transporting children without restraints were provided with a free adapter by the ACM and advice on the importance child restraints. During 2013, 2603 road traffic collisions occurred resulting in 295 deaths and 3221 injuries. Children accounted for 21 of those deaths and 545 were seriously injured. The ACM hopes to reduce this number with their action on child restraints.

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