A Seasoned and renowned Road Safely Consultant Ekow Wilson-Asaam is urging the media to heighten awareness of the use of seatbelts and child restraint systems in the country.

This, according to him, will mitigate road crashes among children between 0-5 years.

In 2021, the National Road Safety Authority revealed that 320 Children between 0-15 years died in road crashes representing 11 percent of all crash deaths. Between 2019 and 2021,952 Children died.

188 were children between 0-3 years; 166 were between 4-6 years. Data available from the National Road Safety Authority has shown that between 2019 and 2021, 952 children died from road crashes.

He said the wearing of a seatbelt or child restraint would significantly minimize the impact and injuries that might be associated in the event of a crash.

That, he said, would relieve the government, communities and families of any financial burden they would have to endure during the period of hospitalization and rehabilitation for surviving victims.

Mr Wilson-Asaam further added that regular seatbelt was not appropriate for use by infants and children hence the need for an approved and appropriate child safety we’re that could fit their weight and size.

The project Manager of LADA Institute, a human rights organization, Shirley Haizel-Ferguson, said a strengthened legal framework, enhanced awareness, and public education would help to reduce road traffic fatalities among children in Ghana. She said children were dying on the roads, hence the need to begin to take all reasonable steps to protect their right to life.

Mrs Haizel-Ferguson made this known at a media sensitization workshop organized by LADA Institute, in partnership with the Global Road Safety Partnership, International Federation of Red Cross, the Red Crescent Societies and the National Road Safety Authority on the use of child restraint equipment and seatbelts for children. Dubbed: “The Policy and Legislative Framework for Child Restraints and Seatbelt for Children in Ghana”, it formed part of the institute’s efforts to provide legislative and advocacy support for the amendment and strengthening of the legislative framework for child restraint and child seat belt usage.”

The project manager said research had shown that there was a linkage between Road Traffic Crash fatalities involving child passengers and the pattern of child restraint usage, and child seating behaviour in general.

She said there has been a growing practice where parents or guardians drove without any form of restraint to child occupants.

“More often, one can observe some parents driving with children leaping about in the back seat; babies and toddlers being held in the arms of other adults in the front or back seat; or parents holding a child in their arms while driving,” she said.

Mrs Haizel-Ferguson said there was a need to address the behavioural pattern hence calling on stakeholders to always buckle up the child as it was the child’s right to safety.

She, therefore, expressed the belief that the workshop would equip stakeholders with the knowledge and resources to champion safer roads and vehicles; and empower their audiences to make informed choices.

Mrs Haizel-Ferguson said the institute was committed to protecting the rights of the children hence that road safety is a human right and every child’s right.

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