Do you know how many times I’ve been driving along, minding my own business, when I’ve spotted something in the traffic that has made me want to go postal. I’m talking full on, waving my fist, yelling out the window at another motorist. Do you know what it is that makes me want to go bat shit crazy?
Kids not safely secured in car seats!
And I see it all the time, almost every day. Front seat passengers with a baby on their lap. A car driving down the road with a child, hanging out the back window, or worse, standing, leaning against the center console, between the driver and front passenger seat. And it makes my blood BOIL! It makes me so furious that people are so careless with the safety of their children. They’re in the front seats, with safety belts on, while their children lol around in the back, completely unsecured and, God forbid, should a collision occur, that tiny body has no chance and worse still, on impact, that tiny body becomes like a missile inside the vehicle. I often wonder, it it a lack of education? It is a question of ignorance is bliss? Well, ignorance no more my friends.
Here is what the law says about kids and car seats:
But first…. just so you know I’m not being overly dramatic, here’s what happens when you drive with an infant (defined by SA Road Law as a child under aged 3) unrestrained and a unsecured child in the backseat, I’m really not dramatizing the missile point of view….
The law is really quite simple:
Every person in a car must be wearing a seat belt, every child under age three must be in a car seat. Of course, with a bit of logic and intelligence, we all realize that best practice is every child under age 12 should be in a car seat or booster seat. Except of course, if you’re operating for PROFIT. SIES!
Do you know how many of my own personal friends don’t follow these guidelines? If you’re my friend, and reading this and feeling guilty, then yes, I probably am referring to you! My kids don’t love their booster seats but guess what? I don’t care! It’s a non negotiable! Especially Ava, she’s almost 8 and doesn’t understand why I still insist that she sits in a booster when some of her friends don’t have to. I have to stop myself from telling her it’s because her friends parents are stupid!
But it’s complicated…
What about public transport? What about school transport companies and school buses etc? What are the laws governing how they transport kids? Well the long and the short answer, as I recently learned, is quite literally nothing! None! Zip! Nada!
So even if you are a responsible parent, concerned about your child’s safety on the road, you can’t automatically assume that your school or school transport company is doing the same. And this is a HUGE concern for me! Because while the law is taking a slow-moving step in the right direction, a large percentage of school transport and public transport companies will choose to hide behind the lack of laws and not use best practice or doing what needs doing and what is right and safest for our kids on the road.
So the onus is on us, as conscious and concerned parents, to stipulate the ways in which I children may be transported.
I also realize that car seats don’t come cheap and often, this is more of a socio-economic issue than an issue of ignorance or callousness. But…..
You can get a car seat FOR FREE from Wheel Well! Now you know… no more excuses!
For more information, please visit and follow #CarseatFullstop
With statistics saying that up to 93% of people aren’t strapping in their kids… We ALL know somebody who is adding to that number.
You have the power to save a little life.
One share, seen by one person, who straps in one child, saves a life.
#CarseatFullstop. Every child. Every time. No matter what.
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If you have an old unused car seat gathering dust in your garage, please consider donating it to our very favorite NPO, Wheel Well. You can drop your seat at your closest Renault dealership and they will get the seat to Wheel Well. They will clean and safety check it, before giving it a new home with somebody in need for a small donation
Photo Credit: https://www.arrivealive.co.za/Car-Seats-for-Kids-and-Road-Safety-in-South-Africa