New Traffic Code protects children in Jalisco

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new-traffic-code-protects-children-in-jaliscoThrough the Bloomberg Philanthropies funded Road Safety Grants Programme, Safe Kids Mexico, in collaboration with Safe Kids Worldwide, has been advocating for comprehensive child passenger safety laws in Jalisco, Mexico.

The region of Jalisco is a leader in Mexico in the protection of children in cars, specifically, in child restraint systems. The state legislative body has enacted a new traffic code which requires drivers to ensure as a matter of law that children 12 and under are placed in car seats.

Prior to passage, Safe Kids Mexico and Safe Kids Worldwide provided specific recommendations on the language for an effective child passenger safety law for the region in a memo sent to the National Commission on Accident Prevention. Many of Safe Kids’ recommendations were included in the final mobility law which was passed on November 9, 2013, including:

  • All children 12 and under should be placed in the back seat.
  • Children 12 and under must be in a child restraint system.
  • An infant 12 months or weighing less than 13 kilograms must travel in the back seat facing backwards.
  • Children 1 to 4‐years‐old (or based on weight) must be in the back seat.
  • Children 4 to 6‐years‐old (or based on weight) must be a booster seat with specifications on how the seat is attached to the motor vehicle.

As stated at the Child Passenger Safety (SENIP) forum in Guadalajara on November 21, 2013, the law that was passed is a model law for the other regions of Mexico and, in fact, for other Latin American nations.

At the forum, the sponsor of the bill, Deputy of Road, Transport and Communication, Martín López Cedillo, as well as the Secretary for Mobility, Mauricio Gudiño Coronado, spoke about the next steps for the region. They both discussed plans for aggressive enforcement and safeguards against corruption. Before those measures are put in place, however, they acknowledged the importance of education for law enforcement in the region and requested the assistance of Safe Kids Mexico in developing such a programme.

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