A new national police campaign, called CsaTTlakozz, has been launched, which draws attention to the importance of seat belts, the head of the traffic police department of the National Police Headquarters announced in Budapest.
József Óberling said at the joint press conference of the police and the Pál Heim National Institute of Pediatrics that they want to halve the number of victims who die in traffic accidents by 2030 and to zero by 2050, which is why they launched their awareness campaign, to which the children’s hospital was the first to join.
He emphasized: from their representative research on the use of passive safety systems, it was found that the rate of wearing seat belts in passenger cars is still quite low, and even a significant number of children travel in cars without being securely fastened.
According to the survey, 88 percent of those sitting in the front and 57 percent of those sitting in the back use seat belts, and only 60 percent of children travel in a securely fastened manner – József Óberling explained the data.
He added that In Hungary, since 1976, the use of seat belts has been mandatory in the front seat of passenger cars, since 1994 also in the back seat, and since 2002, children may only be transported if their safety is ensured by adults.
Nevertheless, in 2022, 134 people died and 2,000 were injured in car accidents without seat belts. Last year, 1,000 of the children were injured, and four died because they were not tied up or secured, said the head of the department.
The research also found – he continued – that if the number of those who buckled up had been only ten percent higher, 65 of those who died last year would have survived the accident.
The police colonel also reported that checks on the use of passive safety devices have already been held twice this year, in two weeks fines were imposed in 35,000 cases for failure to use seat belts, in 520 cases for failure to use the child safety system, and – although not yet the motorcycling season began – 80 motorcyclists had to be fined for not wearing crash helmets.
“We want to be an active part of the awareness campaign launched by the police, because we see every day the consequences of improperly using the safety systems in the car,” said Anikó Nagy, chief physician of the Heim Pál National Institute of Pediatrics, at the press conference.
The majority of children who die in traffic accidents are 15-19-year-old boys, but the number of school-aged children who died has increased in the recent period, and the number of deaths of children younger than one year is still high, explained the director general.
He said that it is extremely sad that in the 21st century, in the age of modern cars, when children’s seats are available in a wide variety according to age and fashion, people do not use these devices properly.
Anikó Nagy emphasized that it is important to carry a baby seat in the front seat only with the airbag turned off, because an airbag that explodes as a result of a possible accident can cause even fatal injuries to babies.
She added that parents should do everything they can to get children used to “the automatic, few-second process that can save lives and prevent lifelong miseries.”
She specifically reminded young people to fasten their seat belts if their parents don’t.
Zoltán Jenei, the director general of the National General Hospital Directorate, said that it is always a great emotional trauma for families when their child gets sick or goes to the hospital, but it is even more difficult and painful if they go to the hospital or lose their life due to an injury that could have been prevented. “I encounter many tragedies like this, so I also ask everyone to do more to prevent these accidents. Let’s save as many lives as possible!” said the director general.