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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Children in cars

I agree that anyone driving a motor vehicle or a boat should ensure that the passengers are safe.  Seat belts are compulsory in this country. In some countries, the driver of a car gets fined if under aged passengers are not properly protected. It is the responsibility of adult passengers to buckle up. But we are asking for legislation. This will take time and will also give another reason for a bribe at roadside roadblocks. All we need is discipline.  We must all enforce what we just wrote above in every trip of ours, no matter how short it is.  A few years back, my son had an accident fifty meters outside our gate. He just drove off to go to school and he was hit by another car which failed to stop at a stop sign. His 4 x 4 rolled twice and landed on its wheels, in front of my wife and daughters who were following him in another car. If he was not wearing his seat belt, we would have had a major situation. He was. He didn't have a scratch.  So people. Stop asking others to do something.  Enforce what you believe is right and ask your friends and family to do the same. Nestoras


Against the law in law abiding safety conscious countries


Wow. A lot of comments to read which has been interesting. I’m glad to see that most comments are PRO safety, meaning seatbelts, car chairs, booster seats and DEFINITELY no passengers in the back of an open truck, or a truck with a canopy (I feel that is a bit of a pointless law in S.A – even if there is a canopy on, still no seatbelts, and if truck rolled, still casualties?!! Not so?)

To the few readers who disagreed with the safety rules, yes, we all grew up without seatbelts (many cars were manufactured without them). Time and tests have proven this was unsafe! We were all very lucky to have gotten by mostly unscathed. Back in those days, there were a lot less vehicles on the roads as well. “In my day”….a favourite phrase, we generally didn’t have rules of life-jackets, seatbelts, helmets for colts cricket, helmets for cycling etc etc. Yes, you can say if something happened, it was an ‘accident’ but where is the harm in being safe?! Rather safe than sorry! I personally do not let my children get on the boat without a life-jacket (regardless if they can swim or not!), on their bikes without a helmet and in the car without being buckled up – and never in the front and never in the back of the truck!

Most people seem to be “downing” Australia – firstly, it is not just Australia that has these rules but every 1st world sensible country and these countries prove that safety comes first by having far less deaths and accidents due to these law-enforced rules. Yes, it can be a pain that they have so many rules, but they are there for our protection and more importantly for our children’s protection. I can’t see why this is a bad thing?!! My children are still young but I am dreading the day they start learning to drive. If we lived in Australia, I would be a far happier and less-stressed mother, letting them drive on the roads there! (firstly, drivers that KNOW HOW TO DRIVER, no commuters, no drinking and reckless drivers and law-enforced speed limits, seatbelts, no phones etc. It is just not worth breaking the rules there!)


Agree but no law here. Drink drive no indicators robot jumping no give way right speeding u turns no lights blah blah blah. not using seat belts kids not strapped in. The list is endless. Nothing improves sadly


Come on. As someone said “accidents do happen”. I agree no standing or sitting on side of bakkies ( I see ZRP details doing this daily down Arcturus  road) But if you want to avoid accidents then suggest you do not drive in  cars,  boats, fly , swim,  bike  and so on. And please do not let us be guided by 1st world Australian rules, rules, rules. We are 3rd ( sometimes 4th ! ) world Africa and open bakkies are the way we are.  John


You know, I have to agree with a lot of the different comments written in about this incident. I can see where nearly everyone is coming from. I have looked at moving to Australia and the main thing that has stopped me from doing that is the ridiculous laws that they have their. Living in Zimbabwe still allows you to breathe and have some good clean fun. I know the laws in Australia and other parts of the world like that are mainly put in place for safety purposes and definitely save lives. That’s good! The only problem with that is it restricts the sensible people from living life to the full. It is definitely not sensible to allow very small children to sit on the front of boats at all, never mind in bad weather when the lakes are rough or there is another boat in the area. You could also hit a tree stump in the water etc. Or small kids on the tops & backs of bakkies etc. Sensible drivers with sensible teenagers or sensible grownups on the back driving very slowly off road I don’t see being a problem. On the Zimbabwean public roads I do see a major problem due to the fact that the drivers in Zimbabwe unfortunately seem to do whatever they want! On any given day any person driving around Harare can witness dozens of traffic violations that could cause the death of anyone of us or our children. So here I would say law or not don’t let anyone stand on the back of a bakkie. I would even go as far as saying don’t seat anyone on the back of a bakkie if you can help it because the one thing that Zimbabwean drivers are terrible at and that is coming onto or crossing roads without any warning at all, at the wrong time! Even if you are strapped into the seat you have a huge problem here. People are dying every day because of it. So you have very little or no chance if you are standing or sitting on the back of a bakkie!

I speak from experience having lost one of my two sons and believe me you do not want to be in my or my sons position! He was strapped in the driver seat under the speed limit and still lost his life. So law or no law, the sensible thing is not to do this on public roads, and just think of what is at risk if you do it off road! Kevin


To the person who mentions i have to disagree , fair enough we are all allowed to give our opinions and views, its fine to teach your kids safety comes first and to sit down in the back of bakkies, put on seat belts and teach them about the dangers on our roads , (please understand there are a few that will take that minute to ensure all is in order and educate there kids about the dangers on our roads but only a few will do this) unfortunately there are millions of drivers on our roads that do not give a care in the world about the other road users whether they are vehicle  owners, cyclists, pedestrians etc and to top it all we have to contend with life threatening pot holes non working robots etc etc so to eleviate accidents and ensure we are all safe on our roads i still feel that the irresponsible offenders are going to give the police every excuse in the book to implement harsher penalties and fines and by doing so hopefully this will teach the offenders a lesson, if we are responsible and abide by the rules of the road well then we have nothing to worry about when we are stopped by the police .. Ted 


I Believe every driver has to be responsible for the safety of all passengers inside and at the back of their vehicle.   Very strict laws should apply here in Zimbabwe with all the potholes, no lights etc. sudden stopping, swerving and hitting potholes put passengers at greater risk.   Laws are always there to protect and save lives. Thanks. Sharon


I have to disagree. I think riding on an open bakkie is fine as long as your kids are disciplined and sit as instructed. There are many of us who grew up with the only option  being to sit on the back. I think the primary difference is back then when you fooled around on the back "dad" stopped the car and gave you a damn good thrashing, so you didn't do it again. Also not everyone can afford the same standard of vehicles as each other. Some may only have the option of an open bakkie.


Whilst "over-regulation" in many places has been taken to a ridiculous extreme, we have to be protected from ourselves at times. In spite of dire warnings about the consequences of not wearing seat belts, it was only when it became illegal not to buckle up, that 99% of us actually buckled up. On "bow riding" some years ago I recall a young girl getting both her legs shattered in a number of places just from the boat ploughing into a big wave. Peter


A picture speaks a thousand words, so rather than my usual heft rant on this subject, instead I’d like to submit this 7 second video clip, which says it all! It shows a crash test with two children in the rear seat, one restrained, one not. Parents: which of these two would you like to be YOUR child in the event of a crash?


I learned this lesson for myself about 20years ago. The lesson was delivered by an adventurous rhino beetle which inadvertently meandered across the path of the pickup we were travelling in. After the neccessary ice packs and headache medication our journey continued.  Needless to say I have sat down in the back of pickups ever since. sirbrowndsound


After Independence  a law was introduced, banning anyone being on the back of a pick-up, trailer or lorry.


Hi mike.  I just want to add what happened to me and scared the hell out of me 2 days ago.  I had collected my kids from school and being that it was so hot and we only live 1.6km from the school I decided to not strap my kids into their booster seats.  I was pulling onto Edinburgh Rd and a big Hilux was in my blind spot, I didnt even see him.  He saw me thankfully and stopped in time and hooted. 

I slammed on breaks and both my kids were catapulted forward.  No injuries but Huge lesson learned.  I wasn't even going fast, just pulling off from the give way.  My kids will be belted in now no matter how far we are going!  Imagine if they were in the back of an open truck or even standing up!  Thanks so much to the man in the Hilux for paying attention and if he is reading this, I am still so so sorry!  An accident would have ruined my  week probably, but losing one of my kids would have ruined my life!!  Pam


Firstly our thoughts go out to the family of the young girl ,as one of the readers mentions accidents will happen and we all understand this , the sad thing is its not a nice way to learn , if all drivers adhered to safety precautions and made sure all was in order prior to heading on their journey these silly unnecessary accidents should  and would not happen it just takes one minute  to make sure all is in order and that your passengers are secure and safe. I feel that if drivers are going to be irresponsible then the police should act and implement the necessary safety clauses, penalties  and fines so that drivers learn and do not have to live with the memories of accidents caused by negligence ,the same goes for riding on the front of boats and letting infants stand in cars, it takes a few seconds for tragedy to strike and its unfortunate that so many people have to learn by these mistakes that we all make at some stage in our lives. So lets all be more responsible and avoid these unnecessary accidents before they happen ,lastly i do understand that first world countries (Australia) have numerous laws and penalties unfortunately these have been put in place due to stupidity, negligence and irresponsible behaviour and so on ..ted






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