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Beloved child on board- an initiative to prioritise child safety as passengers, implemented in Cluj-Napoca

Beloved Child on Board is the first Romanian initiative of its kind, and it is based on a multi sectoral approach in order to improve child safety as car passengers. Cluj-Napoca was the first Romanian city where this initiative was implemented. The target audience of the project is represented by the parents of children aged under 12, who live in Cluj-Napoca, and travel by car with their children. 

The main goal of the Beloved Child on Board project is to improve child safety as car passengers. The project is already implemented in Cluj-Napoca, and is based on a systemic approach regarding child safety in traffic. Several public, educational, non governmental, and private institutions collaborated in order to improve the safety and health of children.
Proiectul a început în 2018, și este coordonat de către Fundația Crucea Albă, care, cu sprijinul financiar al Fondation Botnar, prin intermediul Botnar Child Road Safety Challenge și împreună cu Primăria Cluj-Napoca, Inspectoratul de Poliție Județeană Cluj (Poliția Rutieră Cluj) și Departamentul de Sănătate Publică din cadrul UBB Cluj-Napoca, derulează prima inițiativă de acest fel în România.

The project started in 2018, under the coordination of The White Cross Foundation, with the financial support of Botnar Child Road Safety Challenge and together with Cluj-Napoca City hall, Cluj County Police Inspectorate (Cluj Traffic Police) and the Department of Public Health from UBB Cluj-Napoca, implement the first multi-sectoral approach to child road traffic safety in Romania.  

Why is this project important

More than 8.000 children have died, in the last ten years, on European roads, in car crashes. Of these, 4.000 were passengers. Romania ranks first in the European Union regarding the number of deaths from car crashes. In 2021, the road deaths rate was 93 per one million inhabitants, versus 44 deaths per one million inhabitants in the European Union. It is surprising to notice that, although 9 out of 10 Romanians admit that using the seat belt is important, only 25% of them fasten the seat belt when they travel.

These severe statistics have led, within the European Union countries, to developing campaigns and implementation of new laws and good practices in order to control the main risk factors: speeding, alcohol  consumption, and the  poor usage of safety elements when travelling by car, respectively not wearing the seat belt or the helmet if we talk about bicyclists and motorcyclists. Current recommendations focus on a systemic approach of the matter and on building a safety culture. Thus, according to these priorities, the safety and prevention activities of the Beloved Child on Board project are conducted following the motto: Together, we fasten the seat belt for the little passengers!

Main activities

Implementation of a working group: Multi Sectoral Group for the Safety of Children in Traffic as Car Passengers. Its main purpose is to offer integrated solutions. The group is formed by different entities that have the power to decide when it comes to the safety of children. 

Developing and implementing an Action Plan which guides the enforcement and education activities undertaken by the Cluj County Police Inspectorate.

Collecting and presenting statistical data on the incidence and prevalence of car crashes involving children, but also information about parents' behaviour and the use of child restraint systems.

Carrying out informative activities developed according to the message Together, we fasten the seat belt for the little passengers! with emphasis on the importance of the involvement of all community members so that the little passengers may be protected and that they travel safely. 

Programs meant to increase the level of correct use of car seats, based on research evidence:
      * The First Car Seat Program
      * The Car Seat Check Program
      * Mobile app to support parents in the correct installation of the car seat (Child Car Safety App)

Who supports us

The initiative dedicated to prioritising the safety of the children while travelling in cars is supported by Global Road Safety Partnership, a programme of Internațional Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies, through Fondation Botnar and Botnar Child Road Safety Project. The project is coordinated by Fundația Crucea Albă and carried out by Primăria municipiului Cluj-Napoca, through the Strategy and Local Development Service, Project Management and the Local Police of Cluj-Napoca city in partnership with the Inspectoratul de Poliție Județean Cluj și Departamentul de Sănătate Publică al Facultății de Științe Politice, Administrative și ale Comunicării din cadrul Universității Babeș-Bolyai.