Tweets spread the Buckle Up message
Cape Town - The city’s most famous citizens are today snapping “selfies” of themselves all buckled up in a plea to persuade motorists to wear seatbelts in every seat of their cars.
A devastating example of a preventable road death was released on Wednesday by the Safely Home campaign, captured on a YouTube video that displays in vivid starkness the dangers of not obeying the rule “buckle up in the back” - the Safely Home campaign’s focus as part of this month’s theme, “Seatbelt September”.
In the video, like most victims, the woman knew her killer. But her killer was not a knife-wielding assailant, but her own son.
The woman had been driving her teenage son to school. He was sitting behind her without wearing a seatbelt. And when she braked suddenly, he was flung forward, his forehead smashed into the back of his mother’s head and she was killed. He survived.
Hector Eliott, chief director of the Western Cape’s Safely Home campaign and Road Safety Co-Ordination, urged on Wednesday: “Buckling up in every seat, including the back, is not just the law, it is the right thing to do…”
The Cape Argus reported recently that of child passengers younger than 10 who died on Western Cape roads, more than half were found outside their vehicles at the death sites – having been flung there in the crashes.
“Children aged up to nine years cannot possibly be expected to be responsible for buckling themselves in. Children who are properly buckled into an age-appropriate child seat will not be ejected from the vehicle in a collision.”
Eliott said: “Child passenger deaths statistics going back to 2011 clearly suggest that as many as 70 percent of young children are not properly buckled up.
“Wearing a seatbelt doubles your chance of surviving a serious crash and drastically reduces the severity of injuries. It also prevents ejection which multiplies your chance of dying by about 300 percent.
“One of our key messages is ‘Buckle Up in the Back – it is the law and the right thing to do’. We are telling people that it is the law because many are not aware that it is, and that it is the right thing to do because people who do not buckle up in the back often end up killing or seriously injuring other passengers or the driver, because they turn into projectiles in a collision.”