The introduction of new child seat regulations for South Africa is an important step towards reducing traffic-related injuries and deaths – and one that Continental Tyre South Africa (CTSA) applauds and fully supports.
The new regulation to the National Road Traffic Act introduced by Minister Dipuo Peters aims to protect young children. As of 1 May 2015, it stipulates that all children under the age of three must be strapped into a child car seat when travelling in any vehicle. Previously it was not compulsory for them to wear seatbelts or be buckled into a suitable safety or restraint system.
According to the South African Medical Research Council (MRC), road traffic accidents are the leading cause of injury or death among children under the age of five, with most of these children not buckled up at the time.*
SAMRC reports that South Africa has among the highest number of road deaths worldwide, with an estimated 17 000 fatalities each year. For each of these deaths, it is reported that around four people are seriously injured.*
According to research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, strapping babies into appropriate car seats reduces the risk of death in car crashes by 71%, while this risk drops by 54% among properly strapped in toddlers between one and four years old.*
Booster seats cut the risk of serious injury by 45% for children aged between four and eight years compared to seatbelt use alone, the CDC claims.*
“South Africa has a sophisticated road network and some of the latest vehicle technologies, yet we have a tragic number of road injuries and deaths each year,” says Niel Langner, Marketing Manager for Continental Tyre South Africa.
“We applaud and fully support the Department of Transport for introducing this essential new legislation, which should help reduce the loss of lives, particularly amongst young children. However it needs to be vigorously implemented and enforced by the traffic authorities, along with the existing regulations that require all vehicle occupants to be strapped in at all times.”
Continental has an unwavering focus on a total concept of driving safety, and this permeates through every division, from the Rubber Group that produces industry-leading tyres, through to the Automotive Group that develops and manufactures a wide range of advanced active and passive safety systems for vehicles. The latter includes chassis control systems, sensors, driver assistance systems, airbag electronics and sensors, washer systems and electronic air suspension systems.
“The company is also investing extensively in networked vehicle communication systems to ensure that vehicle collisions are ultimately regulated to the history books,” Langner says. “However, particularly in SA, this is a long way off, and every single motorist needs to actively contribute towards road safety.
“This includes ensuring that everyone in the vehicle is buckled up at all times, as well as making sure your car is roadworthy, and that the tyres are in good condition with at least 2 mm of tread depth remaining.”
CTSA plays an important role in driver education, and is the tyre partner to the Mercedes-Benz AMG Driving Academy with its advanced range of Continental tyres, as well as the Isuzu Off-Road Academy with the General Tire brand. It also has a long legacy of supplying various other advanced driving organisations over the years.
Continental, which is among the world’s top three tyre manufacturers, has a proven reputation for delivering industry-leading tyres with best-in-class braking performance – as confirmed by numerous international and independent tyre tests.