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Auto Special: Volkswagen buckles up child safety

 

Volkswagen Group China released a blue book on child road safety on May 30, together with the Ministry of Public Security, China Automobile & Technology Research Center (CATARC). The move was the latest effort by the automaker to promote safety awareness in the country.

At the book launch the company announced its cooperation with CATARC to support its study on child road safety, especially the compulsory use of child passenger restraint systems.

The automaker said that both sides would push for the inclusion of more child road safety regulations in China's Road Traffic Safety Law.

The event was held prior to International Children's Day, which the company said was significant.

The automaker said that International Children's Day was not only about honoring children, but about bringing awareness to issues concerning the wellbeing of society's most vulnerable members across the globe.

The company believes the best way to protect children on the road is to use child safety seats, but in China the use of the seats is far less common than in Western countries with a rate of less than 1 percent.

More than 70 percent of Chinese parents have little knowledge of how to properly protect their children, or do not treat the matter with the seriousness it deserves, according to a survey by the Institute of Sociology of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The automaker said this is why enhancing awareness of child road safety and improving driving safety laws and regulations were such urgent issues.

Enduring efforts

Volkswagen Group China has made great efforts to make its own contribution in child road safety.

In 2005 Volkswagen set up the China Traffic Accident Research Project with Tongji University in Shanghai.

Professional teams helped the company produce a public awareness television series to popularize road safety knowledge and improve child road safety since 2007.

The company and its two joint ventures, Shanghai Volkswagen and FAW-Volkswagen announced the launch of the Volkswagen Group Child Safety Initiative with a donation of 5,000 child safety seats at the Guangzhou Auto Show last November.

The initiative is part of the company's new strategy called, ren wei ben, which means people-oriented.

"As the most responsible partner of China's auto industry for 30 years, Volkswagen will innovate solutions and carry out corporate responsibility programs for the benefit of the Chinese people and the society," said Sven Patuschka, executive vice-president of Volkswagen Group China .

"Children are our hopes and future, and their safety is invaluable for every family. It is self-evident that we all have to take responsibility to ensure the best possible child road safety practices. Volkswagen strongly supports initiatives on child safety and will continue to roll out activities that further promote child road safety."

The company and its partners have carried out a series of activities for child road safety across China, aiming to help parents understand the importance of using child safety seats.

In February, the automaker and the China Women's Development Foundation (CWDF) jointly held the "Protect Childhood, Child Safety First" China Child Road Safety Forum in Beijing.

Representatives from government departments, kindergartens and maternal and childcare hospitals attended the event, which called for more attention on child road safety.

The carmaker donated 1,000 child safety seats to the CWDF at the forum.

The automaker also held a child seat program, where the group donated child safety seats to new mothers and mothers-to-be through kindergartens and maternal and child care service centers earlier this month in Beijing and last month in Ji'nan, Shandong province.

At the event members of staff also demonstrated how to install and use child seats and shared information on child safety. A number of interactive games gave visitors a chance to participate and practice.

The company said it plans to hold similar road shows in 17 cities across the country this year, including Dalian, Zhengzhou and Xi'an.

The carmaker hopes the program will engage thousands of families nationwide to have a far-reaching influence on child road safety awareness.

 

 

 
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