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Eka Beselia’s bill on making the child seats in cars mandatory gets support

By Inga Kakulia
Tuesday, November 12
The Committee on Sector Economy and Economic Policy has endorsed MP Eka Beselia's bill on mandatory use of child seats in cars. The bill was supported by both the parliamentary majority and minority members at the committee meeting on November 11th. The bill was prepared by Eka Beselia and Zviad Kvachantiradze and was yet again read out loud during the committee meeting.

A lot of opinions were voiced during the meeting one of belonging to Endzela Machavariani, who called for the private sector to engage more often in these types of social campaigns, even suggesting that private companies give child seats to each owner of the car regardless of whether they have kids or not.

While the members of the parliament were discussing the new bill, the event dedicated to promoting the use of child seats was taking place outside the parliament. The event was organized by the NGOs responsible for the changes in Georgia’s laws on Road Traffic: “Georgia's Alliance for Safe Roads”, “Partnership for Road Safety”, and “the Center for Business and Economics.”

During the event the special equipment, the so-called “Slider” was used to demonstrate the use and the purpose of a child seat in case of a car accident. The citizens were able to get into a “slider” which moves at a 30 km/h speed, with a prom of a young kid in the passenger seat, to see for themselves how hard is it to save the child by catching it if an accident occurs.

“If the child seat is correctly selected according to the weight and size and fitted correctly, It protects the child from injury in 60% to 80% of the cases,” said Eka Laliashvili, chairperson of the Alliance for Safe Roads.

According to Laliashvili, the NGOs and the government can’t make taxi drivers and public transport obliged to use the seats quite yet and the planned change will only concern private cars, but generally as mentioned by the chairwoman of the Alliance for Safe Roads, most people agree that children’s safety hasn’t been prioritized by the existing bill so the change is necessary.

Under the bill, the drivers will be required to use a special child stroller, a chair, or a grip for all children under the age of 12 and under the height of 135 cm when transporting them in a rear seat. The child seat should be appropriate for the height and weight of the child. According to the authors of the amendments, current legislation does not provide for the protection of children in traffic accidents, which is why strict regulations are needed to transport children by car.