Child safety seats to be made mandatory

Shanghai Daily, By Yang Jian | November 10, 2016

CHILD safety seats will become mandatory for private cars carrying children under the age of 4, under the city’s draft road and traffic management law released by the Shanghai legislature yesterday.

Using a mobile phone while driving would also be banned, bringing the city into line with many jurisdictions overseas.

The two new clauses would join a raft of offenses that include speeding, incorrect lane changing, not wearing a seatbelt and overloading.

Violators will be fined up to 200 yuan (US$30) and be hit with demerit points.

Drivers who rack up 10 offenses or more will face tougher punishment, under the draft bill’s provisions.

“The new stipulations aim to deter drivers from violating the traffic law,” said Lin Huabin, a senior legislator in the Shanghai People’s Congress, the legislative body.

The toughening of the bill, which is still under evaluation, aims to steer the city’s drivers in the right direction, targeting a range of infractions and promoting public values, Lin said.

It also newly stipulates illegal parking caught by surveillance cameras can be fined by up to 200 yuan.

Traffic police can ticket or tow away illegally parked cars after warning the driver, but for those caught by surveillance cameras, the traffic signs and a short message sent by police can be deemed as warnings, the amendment said.

The Juveniles Protection Regulation requires the use of child safety seats, but is largely ignored because of a lack of public awareness.

“Many legislators proposed adding the stipulation into the traffic regulation to ensure the safety of children and increase the public awareness,” Lin said.

More than 18,500 children below 14 die in traffic accidents in China every year — 75 percent of them in accidents involving private cars.

The bill is expected to be approved by year-end.

Meanwhile, legislators will also vote on stricter rules on public smoking tomorrow.

The city’s smoking ban is expected to be extended to all indoor venues, including hotels, restaurants, offices, airports and public transport.

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