Instances of young lives, which have hardly seen a few summers, being crushed to an end by speeding or erratically driven vehicles is on the rise in the city of Hyderabad. In fact, this January witnessed 11 children in the age group of 6 years to 10 years losing their lives in different road accidents.

At the same time, statistics compiled for the year 2018, tell the sad tale of 119 parents left to live with the agony of having lost their children to accidents on the road. This includes 67 children who were in the age group of 6 years to 10 years, and another 52 children in the age group of 11 years to 15 years.

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This has prompted the road safety experts to call for more focus on the safety issues of children in regard with road accidents. Like other child safety issues, there should be focus on their safety in school buses, on the streets and during travel on the two-wheelers.

M Vinod Kanumula, chief functionary of the Indian Federation of Road Safety, said the administration should take a serious view on the safety issues relating to children. Most deaths of children reportedly happened when they fall off from the two-wheeler while riding pillion followed by being run over by a bus or a four-wheeler.

Children return from school with heavy school bags after a tiring day. While riding back home they are vulnerable to lose balance in case of sudden braking or at times, they doze off, he says.

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While riding pillion on a two-wheeler, the risks of a child slipping and falling down from a moving vehicle are high given the fact that there is little or no hold for balance.

“Child helmet should be made compulsory for children riding pillion on a two wheeler,” advocates Vinod. In most cases of slipping and falling off a vehicle, the children suffer a head injury and the skull gets damaged resulting in death. “The pillion rider is at a greater risk of suffering serious head injuries in an accident,” he points out.

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On their part, traffic police have been advising the parents time and again to use the pillion helmet. “While the helmet rule is specific to the rider, others travelling on a two wheeler are also exposed to the risk of accident and serious injuries,” says Mohd Tajuddin Ahmed, Additional DCP, Traffic.

Despite levying penalties, most do not understand the importance of helmet which makes enforcing helmet for children pillion riding that much more difficult. “Parents should learn from the road accidents they come across on television and newspaper or social media and take basic precautions,” Tajuddin adds. #KhabarLive