Sun | Mar 26, 2023

Rethink child restraint in public transport

Published:Wednesday | February 8, 2023 | 12:07 AM


The recent law that makes child restraint mandatory for children 12 years old and under is ludicrous and a clear entrapment to the commuting public. Not only was it not given much thought, but serves as a catalyst in further endangering the most vulnerable of the populace.

The many incidents last Wednesday of parents with children left stranded, and of taxi drivers risking allowing children on board and asking them to lay low, are quite concerning. The Government announced they will review this regulation, and they should act swiftly to get it right.

As it stands, child restraint laws are ‘adopted by individual countries’. However, in most countries, taxis are exempt – practically so.

One can understand the need to increase safety awareness among motorists and pedestrians. The Transport Authority could start by frequently placing route inspectors in high- traffic areas. There is also an urgent need to erect more safety signs islandwide and install proper streetlights. There also needs to be a media campaign.

For the aforementioned to prove effective, inspectors should be consistent and vigilant. Also, they should be empathetic towards motorists. The message at this time should be to encourage caution, be careful when overtaking, reduce speed, obey traffic signals, among other road safety practices.

Overall, the decision by the Government to implement the new Road Traffic Act is welcome news.


St Elizabeth