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370 School transport in Uruguay
  1. Florencia González1,
  2. Valeria Motta2
  1. 1Fundación Gonzalo Rodríguez, Uruguay
  2. 2Fundación Gonzalo Rodríguez, Uruguay

Abstract

Background (issue/problem) The Act for the creation of the National Road Safety Agency (UNASEV) and another act related to traffic provisions were passed in 2007. Although this represented some progress in Road Safety, children´s needs were not taken into account. Fundación Gonzalo Rodríguez (FGR), organisation focused on Child Road Safety, was concerned about this fact. Aware that safety conditions were below acceptable levels, the FGR promoted research on private and School Transport equipment.

Results showed that seats in use were unstable, did not have headrests or seat belts, and retrofitting was impossible.

These findings generated alliances with different organisations in order to develop a feasible technical proposal to promote a change that considered the safety needs of children as vulnerable road users.

Description of the problem

Together with a renowned car manufacturer and a child seat manufacturer, a feasible proposal was presented including tax benefits. Said proposal was presented with the support of the School Transport Union, UNASEV, the Deputies Chamber of Transport, the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the President of the Republic, Dr. Tabaré Vázquez.

Results (effects/changes) The whole School Transport fleet in Montevideo (Uruguay) was replaced.

The use of height-adjustable, three-point seat belts became mandatory, as well as Child Restraint Systems for children under 3 years of age.

The campaign “Back to School Safely” is carried out annually highlighting the importance of appropriate safety elements for children and their correct use.

Conclusions Although work carried out so far has been praised in different occasions and has raised awareness among adults, there still much to do especially regarding enforcement.

In 2015, the FGR started a study on School Transport regulation and market in ten different countries. Results are expected to provide a clear picture of the steps to follow by each country to have regulations and fleets that reduce the number of fatalities and injured among children in road crashes involving School Transport.

  • Transport
  • Safety
  • Regulation
  • Enforcement

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