Lack of traffic law for children’s safety in Nigeria

09/06/2017

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It is urgent to re-look the current traffic law that regulates children's safety.

Earlier this year, a tragic accident caused by taxies killed the lives of 19 students. According to MEC Panyaza Lesufi from the South African-based Gauteng Education, one of the main reasons leading to the tragedy is overloading of children in the vehicle.

He also thinks that it is necessary to enforce a law that addresses overloading in transportation more rigorously. For this view, an organization enhancing children’s road safety named Master Drive believes that to make this implemented, we need a great support of legislation.

Mr. Peggie Mars from Wheel Well says that ongoing laws are not able to completely solve problems of overloading. This is proved by Regulation 231 (the National Road Traffic Act) about the limitation of the number of children in a vehicle:

  • Any child under 3 years old is not counted
  • 2 children from 3 to 6 years old are equivalent to 1 person
  • 3 children from 6 to 13 years old are equal to 2 person

Accordingly, an eight-seater car can include up to 16 seats for children based on their age. Therefore, what needs to be done first is reviewing the current law. To begin with, Mars proposes an urgent solution which is solving the number of school children in cars.

Many Nigerian children in a bus

It is necessary to enforce a law that addresses overloading in transportation more rigorously

Parents play an important part in improving the law and keeping their children safer. They should check carefully the contract, quality and qualification of drivers, car seats, etc.

However, parents can also face with unexpected cases when they ignore the car seats. Mars shows that the number of cases in which parents don’t use car seats is increasing sharply at an unacceptable level. The main causes are not only lack of knowledge and education on benefit of car seats, but also costs parent have to pay for a safe and certified seat.

For low-income parents who cannot afford a good transportation or don’t even have any choice for their children’s seats, the corporation will support them by providing vehicles driven by members of unemployed community.

Safety of children is always the foremost concern. Therefore, if the law hasn’t supported their safety yet, we need to raise public awareness about protecting children and keep them safe. Moreover, parents should seriously take responsibility for their children’s safety and also require transportation providers to bear in mind this otherwise their own children will have to suffer the consequences.

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