20 children die in road traffic accidents in 10 days — FRSC

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Twenty children died in road traffic accidents between Dec. 19 and Dec. 28, while 75 others sustained injuries from the crashes, the Federal Road Safety Commission, said on Monday.

This information is contained in a statement issued by Mr Jonas Agwu, the FRSC’s Public Education Officer.

The statement said that 144 children of the 239 children involved in road accidents during the period were rescued unhurt.

It would be recalled that the FRSC on Dec. 19 began a Special Patrol for the Christmas and New Year celebration tagged “Operation Zero Tolerance’’.

The commission deployed 34,000 personnel and equipment in critical and major highways across the country as well as four helicopters for aerial surveillance.

The FRSC had said on Dec. 24 that 107 died and 1,398 persons were in 214 road accidents between Dec. 19 and Dec. 23.

It said that the figures represented a reduction in the number of deaths and injured when compared to 156 deaths and 1,882 injured persons in 236 accidents in the corresponding period of 2012.

The statement, therefore, advised parents and drivers to ensure that children were “appropriately restrained’’ in vehicles during travels.

It added that those under 12 years should be restrained in the rear seats in line with the provisions of the National Road Traffic Regulations, 2012.

This, it said was necessary because air bags could injure or kill young children travelling in front seats in the event of  accident.

“One of the most effective measures to protect occupants from injury in the event of a crash is the fitment and use of seat-belts and child restraints.

“’Restraints save lives and reduce injury severity – all vehicle occupants should be appropriately restrained when travelling,” it said.

The statement said statistics indicate that seat belt usage reduce the risk of fatality among front seat passengers by 40 per cent to 50 per cent.

It said that the use of the belt could also reduce risk of fatality for rear seat passengers by between 25 per cent and 75 per cent.

The statement said that Child restraints reduce deaths among infants by approximately 70 per cent and deaths among small children by between 54 per cent and 80 per cent.’’

It said that FRSC had mandated its commanding officers to intensify enforcement of traffic rules bothering on child safety during the ongoing special patrol, which will end on Jan. 12, 2014.

The statement directed the officers to conduct routine checks on vehicles conveying children to ensure that they are properly positioned through restraints.  (NAN)

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