What If We Couldn’t Afford A Car Seat?

When we know better, we do better – quote from The Forum

It’s no secret that sometimes here in SA, we’re a little slow to catch on to changes. A case in point, the legislation requiring the using of safety belts and car seats for children and babies. When large parts of the rest of the world have firm and stern laws in this regard, here in SA we appear to have less of a law and more of a suggestion. I’ve tried googling to see exactly what the law here in SA is but can’t seem to find anything concrete, it would seem that the law here suggests that if a restraint is available in the car it should be used. Which is shocking when one considers that an unrestrained child in a car, weighting in at 10kgs and travelling at 40kph will exert an extra force of 300kgs on impact!

This is an issue which seems to be gaining more media attention, especially with the efforts of sites like Buckle Me Up where we can now report “stupidity, laziness, ignorance and bad parenting”.  Not to mention the regular blog posts by other mom bloggers in this regard. And tragic stories in the news like this one:  “Mom refused to hand over dead baby”

 Paramedics said Yanne Weng was convinced that her baby Xin Nuo was just sleeping and could not be convinced otherwise, reported Beeld.

The baby apparently didn’t have a mark on her, but paramedics declared her dead on impact.

Weng was sitting with the baby on her lap while her husband drove their bakkie on the road between Potchefstroom and Fochville when he lost control of the vehicle and it rolled several times.

Stories like these are tragic, heartbreaking and such an unnecessary loss of life!

The sad reality is that while mom’s like you and I are in the fortunate position to not only be educated about the danger of not having our babies and children strapped into appropriate car seats and to be able to afford said car seats, not everyone is as fortunate. Now before you all stone me, while I know there are cheap car seats out there, even a R250 second hand car seat will be a major stretch for some, no matter how stupid or irresponsible we may think that is, it’s a simple fact.

The good news is that 94.7 Ground Patrol in conjunction with Drive More Safely are busy with a drive to collect our second hand and unused car seats for people who simply do not have the means to buy their own one.

If you are able to, drop off your second hand/unused or old car seats here this week:

TUESDAY – Hillfox Shopping Centre, Roodepoort 7am – 10am
WEDNESDAY – Xavier Boulevard, JHB South 4pm – 6pm
THURSDAY – Carlswald Shopping Centre, Midrand 7am – 10am
FRIDAY – Coachman’s Crossing, Bryanston 10am – 1pm

And if you’re not in Jozi or can’t make these dates, the please contact Drive More Safely to arrange your donation of an old car seat. All of which are cleaned and refurbished before being handed out to needing families.

Oh and here’s a great reference guide on which car seat is best at the various stages of development – Types Of Child Seats



  • Jenny

    October 2, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    I think the law in this country is non-existent because of the high number of public transport users. My ideal would be to see a carseat in every taxi – can you imagine their loss of income though? I will definitely be dropping off my old carseats this Friday

  • acidicice

    October 2, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    This is a great initiative!

    A car seat has always been non negotiable for me. I have seen a 2 year old flung out of a car in front of my eyes. He died. I was very traumatized by that image and it still brings tears to my eyes. His 6 year old brother was also flung out of the car and was seriously injured, but survived the accident. In this case though, the car was such an old model that it didn’t even have seat belts in the back!

    My car seats are very much still in use and will be for quite some time still, but this is food for thought as to what will become of them once I can no longer use them.

    Thank you for this post, it could save lives!

  • Joni

    October 2, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Grrr my brother and I drove behind an Audi Q7 today with not 1 but 3 toddlers standing on the back seat and another older approx 6 yr old sitting in the front unrestrained! The worst is the Mommy had her seatbelt on! We were on the highway doing 120km/h.

    I’ve already donated Adam’s old baby seat to an orphanage. But will spread the word!

    We have a car seat in each of our cars and the grandparents have all got one…. It’s a non-negotiable for me after witnessing a few gruesome accidents at the stop street above our house.

    Great initiative!

  • Lisa-Marie

    October 3, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    I would dearly love for this law to be passed – it’s a no-brainer. It infuriates and saddens me when I see children bouncing around on the backseat of cars, or bundled up on their parents’ laps. Drives me crazy…
    That is a GREAT initiative! Brill!!

  • kristi fraser

    October 5, 2012 at 12:10 am

    For me the worst thing is seeing families in town,people we know, and we also know they have the money for car seats but dont bother getting or using them all the time. It is such a precious little life you have been given, should you not want to take every precaution to preserve that life. I am guilty of not using a car seat once with my 1 year old, we were at a function 15min away from home, our 4 year old got sick and my husband took him home, i came home afterwards with mom in law, i sat in the back with a seatbelt on,my arms just about knotted around our son and made mom drive at about 20km and hour. Government should give car seats to families who cant afford them, the money is there it just needs to be worked with correctly. This campaign is awesome, hope it gets tons of support.


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