The National Institute for Child and Family Development at Bangkok’s Mahidol University is urging parents to fit child seats and child seatbelts in their cars, following another tragic death of a child.
The Bangkok Post reports that a 6 year old boy died when he was flung from a pick-up truck that collided with a guard rail in the central province of Samut Prakan, just to the south east of Bangkok. The truck, which was being driven by the boy’s father, was on an elevated expressway at the time of the accident and the boy plunged 30 metres to his death.
The accident has prompted Dr Adisak Plitponkarnpim, director of the NICFD, to call for all cars transporting children to be fitted with appropriate seats and seatbelts. He points out that while the law mandates that all children under the age of 6, or below 135 centimetres in height, must wear a child seatbelt or use a child seat. However, most parents ignore the legal requirement.
According to Dr Adisak, when a vehicle is travelling at a speed of 80 – 100 kilometres an hour, an unrestrained person will be projected forward at the same speed should the vehicle have to brake suddenly.
He adds that the regular seatbelts provided are not suitable for young children and no vehicle should be marketed as a “family vehicle” until it’s fitted with safety features appropriate for children. Dr Adisak has also suggested that car manufacturers be held accountable if they insist on using the term “family vehicle” without pointing out to customers that child-safety features have not been installed.
He also wants to see the government implement measures to enable all families to afford the safety features necessary to protect child passengers.
“The child safety seat law is meant for everyone’s safety. However, the seats should not pose a financial burden on car owners. The government should reduce import tax on safety seats for children to make them affordable for all families.”
SOURCE: Bangkok Post