A driver must look out for children and take care they are safe when he is behind the wheel – whether the children are inside the car or on the road.
INSIDE THE CAR
Children below 10 must never be seated in the front seat. For starters, the seat belt will not keep them secure since it is meant for adults. Moreover, the hyperactive or over-curious among them have this habit of fiddling with the gear or dashboard buttons which could lead to disastrous consequences.
Children must be seated in the back and the child lock must be active. And they should be warned against leaning out of the car or putting their hands out. Small children must be seated in baby seats, properly secured.
Never allow a child to sit in the driver’s seat unattended for fun. You never know when the hand brake has been playfully released and the safety scenario has swiftly changed.
IN FRONT OF THE CAR
If you notice children playing in a lane or the road, slow down to 5km or better stop and if they have not noticed you approaching, blow the horn and ensure they get out of the way. In shopping mall or public park parking lots very small children have this habit of loitering away from their elders while they are getting out or taking things out or putting them in. Freeze if you notice such a wayward toddler until one of the family has secured him.
BEHIND THE CAR
Every year one finds one or two news reports of children being run over while the driver reversed. Very small children immediately behind the car cannot be seen in the rear or side-view mirrors. While reversing in residential areas, before getting into the car to drive away, ensure that the ground is clear on the back.
DROP AND PICK-UP
When you go to drop a child at his school or at a friend’s place, the first rule to observe is not to drop him on the sidewalk across the road from the gate or the building. Either drop him right on the footpath next to the school building OR park properly even if at some distance and walk the child up to the school or the building gate. Do keep time margin for the safety of your child and do not be in a hurry always.
The same goes when it is time to pick up a child from school. Walk him from the gate of the school or the building up to the car if it involves crossing the road.