Countrywide call for child car safety seats

Baby-Car-Seat1---textParents who don’t strap their children under the age of three in a car seat can be slapped with a heavy traffic fine. (Image: Defense for Children)

Transport Month – observed nationally each October – is a time to celebrate progress in the sector and how far South Africa has come in ensuring mobility is accessible to all its residents. It is also a time to raise awareness about various modes of transport and how to travel safely across our beautiful country.

Imperial Road Safety, the Western Cape department of transport and public works, and KFM Breakfast are taking the opportunity to bring the Car Seats for Kids campaign to Cape Town. It has been held in Johannesburg for the past three years.

A CULTURE OF GIVING

“We believe that Cape Town is a region that boasts a spirit of giving back and as such, we will be bringing this great project to the region, expanding the campaign’s reach and driving further, national awareness,” said Niki Cronje, of group marketing at Imperial.

The campaign calls for the donation of child car safety seats to contribute to child safety on the roads. The seats are then restored, safety checked and redistributed to give the gift of safety to those children who do not have a car seat or whose families cannot afford a new one.

“We are thrilled to partner with Imperial Road Safety on this worthwhile and crucial initiative,” said Donald Grant, the Western Cape minister of transport and public works. “There are too often indications of the absence of child restraints amongst child passengers killed in the Western Cape, where road deaths per capita are approximately 38% lower than in South Africa in general.

“Children who are unrestrained, even on an adult’s lap, will be seriously injured or killed, even in a slight collision. We continue to appeal to parents and caregivers to buckle young children up in appropriate car seats to help prevent injury and death in a crash. Age-appropriate car seats are effective because the car seat harness and vehicle seatbelt are positioned over the parts of a child’s body that are most likely to absorb the force of a crash.”

COLLABORATIONS

According to the provincial government, for road safety initiatives to make a real difference, businesses and the government need to join forces to effect change. Car Seats for Kids is no exception. In light of this, the Cape Town department of transport and public works has endorsed the campaign and has partnered with Imperial in the awareness drive towards safer roads for all.

“Our Safely Home campaign will be focusing on child road safety over the month of October, under the hashtag #SaveKidsLives, educating the public on how to protect our children against unnecessary injury,” Grant added. “I am confident that our joint efforts will yield positive results, and save more and more young lives.

“As a leader in mobility, we aim to educate consumers around the importance of car seats and strapping our children in, as well as to provide access to car seats for those that can’t afford them or haven’t yet realised their importance.

“This campaign comes at a critical time. Not only are road crash statistics at their highest, but government has implemented new legislation that states that all children under the age of three need to be strapped into a suitable car seat and of course, is well aligned to Child Safety Month in Cape Town.”

KFM, a Cape Town radio station, is the media partner for the campaign.

“As a parent, I play a key role in keeping my child safe on the roads and feel privileged to be part of such a worthy campaign,” said Ryan O’Connor, the KFM Breakfast Show host. “During Transport Month and in the run-up to the festive season, I encourage you to join me – get involved in the KFM Breakfast Car Seats for Kids drive with Imperial and help protect our kids on the roads.”

ACTIVATIONS

People who have child safety seats to donate can do so at any of Imperial’s Hyundai, Kia and Renault dealers from 1 to 31 October or at any of the activation spots.

“There is no doubt that extending the reach of this campaign is critical in driving broader awareness and we are so excited that, this year, consumers from around the country can donate their car seats – regardless of the fact that the main activation will take place in Cape Town,” Cronje said.

“Child safety on our roads is a key pillar of society, not to be left only in the hands of parents, but South Africans at large. We therefore are ecstatic that the Department of Transport has come on board and that together we are able to appeal to the public to go on and make a difference to a family in need by donating their used car seats this Transport and Child Safety Month.”

The campaign has already visited a number of Cape Town malls and schools, namely: Tygervalley Mall, Blue Route Mall, Table View Shopping Centre, Somerset Mall, Ratanga Junction and Silverlea Primary School. It will be at the following malls, between 6am and 6pm:

  • Table View Primary School: Wednesday, 14 October
  • Paarl Gymnasium Primary School: Thursday, 15 October
  • Ratanga Junction parking: Friday, 16 October