Moldovan law mandates the use of child restraint systems, tailored to relevant age and physical characteristics, for all children under the age of 12 in all vehicles. This includes the use of booster seats, enabling seat belts to be fastened safely and correctly. However, according to data collected earlier this year by EASST partner the Automobile Club of Moldova (ACM), a significant number of the population are either unaware of this law, or violating it’s terms. Thereby putting their children at risk every time they make a journey.

As part of their on-going national campaign to promote the use of child car restraint systems and kids safety in transport the ACM, in partnership with the National Patrolling Inspectorate, have therefore carried out a series of awareness raising actions across Moldova, targeting Orhei city, Cahul and Chisinau.

Together with police officers, the ACM have been stopping cars carrying children to check properly whether the little ones are buckled up with appropriate restraints.

In Orhei, more than 50 per cent of drivers pulled over were unaware of the need to use specific restraint systems for children or of the penalties imposed for violating the law. Drivers who were found to be carrying children “inadequately”, i.e. in the front seat or with no seat belt/ restraint system, were given information on the importance of safe transportation and strictly warned that next time they are caught they will be penalized according to the current legislation.

In Cahul and Chisinau, more than 300 drivers were pulled over. Most did not have appropriate child restraints adapted to their child’s physical characteristics despite the fact that 90 per cent of those stopped were aware of the legislation and the penalties involved. As such, in addition to being warned of the dangers of unsafe transportation, each was issued with a fine in accordance with the law.

To further raise awareness, ACM representatives also visited the UCA driving school to distribute informational brochures to future drivers, targeting in particular, those who are parents.

Indeed, the main purpose is to conduct a series of initiatives to raise awareness amongst the population in Moldova as well as national public authorities and relevant non-governmental actors on the importance of using appropriate child restraint systems, and to improve the culture and responsibility of parent-drivers for their children-passengers.

This campaign is being carried out in partnership with the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), FIA Foundation, EASST, the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, Ministry of Internal Affairs, National Patrolling Inspectorate, Ministry of Education, the Swiss project REPEMOL, “Oratorul” Theater, General Direction of Public Transport Chisinau and a number of driving schools.