Most common penalties when traveling with children in the car and how to avoid them

Parents often have many concerns regarding the ways of traveling with children on the road, since the lack of a Child Restraint System (SRI) is the number one reason to immobilize your car according to the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT). However, the fine should not be the most important thing, but rather take the children safely. Therefore, in this article we explain the importance of implementing CRS in your car, as well as some recommendations that you must follow to avoid problems on the road.

The General Directorate of Traffic regularly indicates the rules that you must follow in road traffic, in this sense, in 2006 a new law was incorporated that adds to the reasons why Civil Guard agents can stop your car. This information is available in Article 117 of the General Circulation Regulations, from number 2 specifically.

It is a law with great weight, since it obliges users to wear seat belts or other approved restraint systems, including the CRS that is most appropriate according to the child’s age, weight and height. However, an alert has been made to draw the attention of all users to recent events, so it might be convenient to know some of them.

Figures from the DGT for the detention of vehicles with minors without SRI

The DGT recalled through its social networks the reasons why your car can be immobilized, due to the lack of concern on the subject by some people. In 2017, at least 16 children who were under the age of 12 died in different road accidents according to figures from the DGT and, as if that were not enough, 4 of them are not using any child restraint system.

In the same year, the Civil Guard stopped 240 cars for road safety problems with children under 12 years of age, in which the main fault was the absence of a CRS. In addition, it is important to highlight that in 64 of these cases the minors were traveling in the front seat of the cars, a serious infraction since it was implemented in Royal Decree 667/2015.

Penalties for traveling with children incorrectly

At a monetary level, the penalties for traveling with children incorrectly can be around 200 euros, depending on the seriousness of the offence.

However, even if the irresponsible driver is not arrested by the Civil Guard, it is important to protect one’s own life and that of the children in any way. For this reason, the most responsible thing is that we all be able to identify and report the offender if we see any serious breach of the regulations.

In addition to the fine, the authorities can withdraw up to 3 points from the person’s driving license and their car can be immobilized until further notice, a compelling reason to comply with safety regulations when carrying children during road trips. 

How to avoid penalties when traveling with children?

Mainly you must comply with the basic safety measures that apply to all drivers, such as wearing a seat belt, driving in the lane that is according to your speed, not consuming alcohol or drugs if you are going to drive, checking the basic systems of the car before embarking on a trip and have valid insurance. 

On the other hand, when traveling with children it is a mandatory priority that you have a retention system that meets safety requirements, in addition to providing comfort according to the physical characteristics of the child. In this sense, you must take into account some important information before embarking on a trip, whether short or long.

The use of an SRI is mandatory for children who are 135 cm or less

This is probably the gold standard when traveling with children, so it is important to know how tall they are in order to acquire the best car seat according to the needs of the child, since you can find them according to height, weight and age..

Likewise, it is important to take into account the anchoring or fastening system to the rear seat, since there are multiple cases of children being thrown out of moving cars, because adults did not take time to adjust the seat correctly. On the other hand, you should carefully check that the harnesses and fastening systems of the child to the chair have the proper tension, this will provide greater safety to the child in case of impacts or sudden movements.

Check that the SRI of your choice is approved

Two regulations are currently the most used in the market, the ECE R44/04 and the ECE R129 or better known as i-Size. However, i-Size is intended to be the only standard used from 2022, as it offers tests on cars with rear, front and side impacts, while ECE R44/04 only performs front and rear tests.

Only adults can go in the front of the cars

It is a norm that has been mentioned over the years and is easy to comply with. However, it can be violated three times, either the car does not have rear seats, the rear seats are already being used by other children who have CRS, or the car you have does not provide the possibility of installing CRS.

The CRS must go in reverse

This is extremely important, because a large part of the violent crashes occur in front of the car. In this sense, if we place our child in rearward facing, the chances that he will receive some type of injury if an impact occurs are reduced by up to 80%.

On the other hand, it is important to follow this regulation for at least 15 months. Some of the excuses are that the child could suffer from dizziness, that it could be a bit uncomfortable when placing the feet, that we lose sight of it and that it could get bored, but in reality all this has been foreseen by the manufacturers and approved by the organizations in charge transit, in this sense, there is no way to avoid the sanction.

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