Home' Journeys : Jun Jul 2015 Contents From the
I am not sure whether I was more surprised or disappointed
when I learned that a free R ACT / Kidsafe safety inspection
of child restraints at a childcare centre in southern Tasmania
recently revealed that more than two-thirds either needed
adjustment or were not safe. The National Road Safety Week
activity checked 53 installed child restraints over a two-hour
period. Of these, 36 needed adjustment, and some were simply
Frighteningly, of the 16 found to be unsafe, five were not fitted
to the vehicle in any way, three were top-tethered to luggage tie-
downs which are not rated for child restraints, four had no top
tether fixed at all and four had faulty belt buckles or were broken.
As my colleague, Motoring Services Manager Peter Gillon, said
in the media that day, if one of the 36 vehicles we discovered
was involved in a crash as we found them on the day of the
inspection, a child in a restraint in that vehicle would have either
been seriously injured or killed.
The message in this important area of road safety is not getting
through. So, for the record, let me stress again:
Babies, toddlers and children are put at risk of serious injury
or death if the child restraint they are occupying does not
work as it is designed to.
The point of the exercise – and this column – is not to shame
parents for doing the wrong thing, but rather educate them
about child safety in cars.
And while correctly fitting a child restraint is important, we urge
parents not to use child restraints acquired with no history and
The R ACT provides access to a range of resources on our web
site at ww w.ract.com.au/Pages/Child-restraints.aspx
If you are a parent who travels in a vehicle with a child or
children in a restraint, even if you think you are doing the right
thing, I would encourage you to please take the time to visit the
site and the specific page and read the information presented
The R ACT’s involvement in National Road Safety Week also
involved educating students about the dangers of texting while
driving and of drink driving.
In R ACT dual-control vehicles, participants attempted to send
a text message on hand-held mobile phones while negotiating
a driving course around witches’ hats and attempted to drive a
vehicle using goggles that mimicked the effects of alcohol.
Both exercises were very valuable and the students left the
sessions much better informed than when they arrived.
Unfortunately, texting while driving is a growing trend among
motorists of all ages, not just young people, and is quickly
becoming one of the leading distractions that contributes to
crashes and fatalities on the state’s roads.
And drink driving contributes to at least one in four fatalities
and one in eight serious injuries on our roads.
These numbers show why it is just not worth the risk.
Tie a Yellow Ribbon
T he aim of National Road Safety Week is to increase awareness
for all road users to be safe and courteous on the roads so we
can reduce crashes that result in death or serious injury.
The annual event, which this year ran from 3-10 May, was also
about remembering those who have died or been injured on the
This year, for the first time, Tasmania Police, Tasmania Fire
Service, Tasmanian Ambulance Service, State Emergency Service,
Metro, R ACT and the Road Safety Advisory Council worked
together on the week’s activities.
The symbol of National Road Safety Week is the Yellow Ribbon.
All emergency vehicles, Metro buses, R ACT patrol vans and driver
training vehicles supported the cause by attaching ribbons to
their vehicles. Staff also wore yellow lapel ribbons in recognition
of the week.
Events included the official launch in Civic Square, Launceston,
structures in major cities floodlit in yellow, a competition for
Tasmanians aged between 16 and 19 with a $5000 first prize,
R ACT and Kidsafe child restraint inspections, education sessions
for students on the dangers of drink-driving and using a mobile
phone whilst driving, and a non-denominational church service
at St David’s Cathedral to remember those who have lost their
lives on our roads.
Each day of the week, Tasmania Police targeted the ‘fatal five’ road
behaviours – speed, inattention, fatigue, seatbelts, alcohol and
The event coincided with United Nations Global Road Safety
Week and is a SAR AH (Safer Australian Roads and Highways)
‘Drive So Others Sur vive!’ initiative.
See ww w.sarahgroup.org for further information.
Driver trainer Glenn Coppleman ties a yellow ribbon
4 June / July 2015
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