Shanghai to install safety seats in taxis

Updated: 2014-03-25 08:54

By Yu Ran in Shanghai (China Daily)

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Shanghai will soon roll out taxis equipped with children's safety seats in compliance with a new regulation on protecting minors while riding in vehicles.

A total of 168 taxis from four local companies - Dazhong, Qiangsheng, Jinjiang and Haibo - will install the safety seats.

Gifted by Shanghai Services Federation, the seats are worth about 3,000 yuan ($480) each and suitable for children aged 9 months to 12 years.

The Shanghai Minors Protection Regulation, which requires all car-owning parents to install safety seats in their cars for children below the age of 4, was issued by the city's legislative body in the end of 2013 and took effect in March.

"Each company will receive 42 child seats to offer assistance to adult passengers taking young children in the near future," said Zhou Wenhua, the operational manager of Shanghai Qiangsheng Taxi Company.

Because it will be the first time child seats are to be installed in taxis in the country, Zhou added, it will take some time to find out which type of car is more suitable to have the seats installed without affecting the drivers' daily routine.

"Training on how to install and uninstall the child seats will also be given to drivers to make sure they are able to do it quickly," Zhou said.

Telephone reservations for the safety seat-equipped taxis will be available to the public after all the testing and training are completed.

Some local parents and grandparents have said they are looking forward to the taxis with child seats as they will be convenient and they will worry less about their or their child's safety.

"If they are equipped with child seats, taking a taxi will be a great option for us over driving our family car as some places lack parking spaces," said Chen Shuxia, mother of a 3-year-old boy in Shanghai.

Chen added that more Chinese parents have realized that using the seats is essential for their child's safety, while the new law will make more people aware of their importance.

According to the new law, children under the age of 12 are not allowed to sit in the front seat of a car for safety reasons.

Statistics from the national traffic management authority showed that more than 18,500 children under the age of 14 are killed in traffic accidents every year in China.

"Although more attention has been paid to children's safety while riding in cars, there are still many parents who've made a habit of holding their kids in the vehicle instead of putting them in the safety seats," said Pan Shuming, a doctor with Xinhua Hospital in Shanghai.