Child passenger safety promoted in Buenos Aires
Training sessions to improve child passenger safety took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, teaching child restraint system (CRS) sellers how to help parents make safer choices for their children.
Fundación Gonzalo Rodríguez (FGR), a strategic partner of the FIA Foundation, ran the sessions with the city government’s Education Management of the General Direction of Drivers and Transport, the Transport Secretariat, and FIA technicians at the Road Safety Education headquarters in April.
In Argentina, approximately 5,000 people die each year in road crashes. Most of these fatalities are car occupants and children in cars are particularly vulnerable. Correctly installed CRS reduces the risk of fatality by 75% among children and 90% among infants. Almost 45% of children in the city travel without CRS, despite the risk, according to an observational study developed by the Road Safety Observatory in the City of Buenos Aires (GCBA).
The city of Buenos Aires has legislation, passed in 2015, which makes suitable CRS compulsory for passengers under one year old or below 1.5 m in height. To support this legislation, the City Government has implemented a comprehensive plan of activity, including these training sessions. FGR is also supporting the city government’s work to standardize CRS sales.
The training was attended by 150 CRS sellers and managers from specialist stores and focused on developing a unified criteria of CRS purchase, use and installation for different ages and vehicles types. The attendees were granted certificates signed by the Secretary of Transportation of the City of Buenos Aires, Juan José Méndez, to confirm their participation.
Maia Kleier, from the Mi Mamá Se Mima store, remarked, “The training was of crucial importance since most CRS sellers, pediatricians, educators, among others, do not have much information which I consider key when providing advice about the use of CRS. The most useful part, to me, was the practical session. Reading a manual or watching a video may seem very easy, but correctly installing a CRS is not.”
Pablo La Spina, representing the Management of Education General Direction of Drivers and Transport, said: “We are convinced that these interventions will not only make adults realize that Child Restraint Systems are mandatory by law, but that they also promote their correct use which can significantly reduce severe injuries and fatal consequences. We aim to inform and raise awareness among parents by sharing our knowledge and highlighting the importance of installing and choosing the right device according to the child´s weight and height.”
FGR works across Latin America promoting road safety with a priority on child passenger safety. In Argentina, FGR has been working with the Under Secretary of the Government of Buenos Aires to provide technical support, training and helping run CRS check-up points. During International Child Road Safety Forum (FISEVI), planned for June 2018, FGR will further the discussion on increase the use of CRSs and to raise awareness among the community in Argentina.