The role of parents needs to be increased related to traffic safety education for children to reduce child traffic accidents.
“Parents need to get their children accustomed to traffic safety to prevent accidents,” said Head of Institute for Safety and Education Training of Gachon University, Prof. Huh Eok, in a Child Traffic Safety training on Friday (22/12) in University Club (UC) UGM). To training participants who were mothers, kindergarten, and primary school teachers in Yogyakarta, Huh Eok described Korea’s experience in reducing the number of child accidents on the road.
Huh Eok said the government of Korea provided facilities such as school zoning, sidewalks, road barriers, and crossing signs near schools. Regulations and policy were also in place such as the obligation to give traffic safety lessons for children, car seat for children in vehicles and motorbikes, and speed limit for school zones at a maximum of 30 km/hour.
“Due to this policy, the rate of accidents in Korea has dropped down by 90%,” he said.
Data from Korea Police showed a significant decrease in child accidents. In year 1990 there were 1,500 children who died in accidents but the rate was down to 70 in 2016.
Huh Eok hoped this training would increase the role of parents and teachers in suppressing traffic accidents in children.
The training is a collaboration between UGM and Gachon University. The collaboration started in 2017 to 2019, supported by KOICA, Samsung Electronics and Yogyakarta Police.
“We hope the education and programme on child traffic safety will help suppress the rate of accidents in children in Yogyakarta,” he said.
Aside from the training, as many as 2,000 helmets were distributed for children in Yogyakarta, also materials on traffic safety and research on traffic facilities for children.
Transportation safety expert from UGM, Prof. Sigit Priyanto, said driving behaviour that ignores safety makes children more vulnerable to accidents. These include not wearing helmets or safety tool among children.
“Parents need to teach their children on the importance of wearing a helmet, jacket, and other protective wear in advance,” he said.
Sigit added the parents need to be active to teach and monitor the use of motorbikes by their children. “Government needs to also be active in educating the people, enacting the laws, and providing good infrastructure and facilities,” he said.