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Child seatbelts Number 3 may be a life saver

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A shocking one in four Singapore parents continues to flout the law when it comes to child seatbelts.

A study, carried out by the Straits Times, shows that nearly 75 per cent of parents do ensure that their children are secured in seatbelts as required by the law.

But what about the other 25 per cent who don’t buckle up their kids?

Here’s what some of them had to say:

"My driving is good enough"

“I try to hold onto him in case the car stops suddenly"

“Boosters are too bulky and we need to fit other things like prams in the car.”

“Accidents and injuries still can happen – it’s how you drive that matters…”

The reasons are plentiful and are echoed in a recent study carried out by the UK Traffic Police.

Findings here are similar. Reasons include people having inflated views of how safe they are when not properly belted. Others question whether a seatbelt will actually offer the protection it is supposed too. And many believe in the well know urban myth that wearing a seatbelt can actually be worse in some instances.

A woman driver told one focus group: ‘Well I know people who have had really nasty accidents and they weren’t wearing their seat belt and they’d been told that if they’d had their seat belt on, they wouldn’t have got out of the car alive. If my husband had had a seat belt on he would have been dead.’

Urban myths aside, here are the facts

1. You are twice as likely to die if you do not wear a seat belt.

2. When one person puts a seat belt on, everyone else is more likely to copy. The first person to put their seat belt on may literally be saving everyone else’s life.

3. Seat belts were found to be about 60% effective at preventing fatal injuries, and about 32% effective at preventing serious injuries. If you have a collision at 25 mph unbelted, it’s like falling from a two-storey building. At 40 mph it’s like falling from six stories, at 60 mph it’s like falling from 12 stories.

4. In a crash at 30 mph, an adult back-seat passenger without a seat belt is thrown forward with the ‘force of 3.5 tons, the weight of an elephant. Think what would happen to an unsecured child.

5. The law in Singapore requires anyone below the height of 1.35m to be secured with an appropriate restraint, booster seat or adjustable seatbelt. Those 1.35m or taller are expected to wear a seatbelt irrespective of age.

Under the Road Traffic Act, drivers and passengers found not using a seat belt or appropriate restraints could be fined up to $1,000 or jailed up to three months, or both.

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