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Children's Safety Concerns in Taxis

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This report presents the findings of a collaborative research project between Kingston University and Trafold Ltd on the causes of child passenger injuries in taxis. The study used an online survey to gather data from professional drivers and passengers in the UK and the US. The survey received 317 responses, with 28.4% of respondents from the UK.

In the UK, eight children were injured in taxis each month

According to the Department for Transport STATS19

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The study found that 56% of UK professional drivers had experienced an accident involving a child passenger, and 69% were aware of their peers involved in such accidents. Most drivers (75%) encountered child passengers every day, and 63% of those who needed child safety seats travelled to or from school.

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The study also found that 50% of drivers experienced child car seats unsuitable for the child passenger, and 75% of drivers rarely or never saw a passenger bring their own child seat.

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For drivers providing child car seats, 69% keep the car seat in the car all the time, and 31% only offer child car seats if booked in advance.
Most drivers (81%) said parents usually install child car seats and secure the child. 

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25% of UK professional drivers did not know the latest safety regulations, but public awareness of child safety in taxis was relatively high.

The study found that 56% of UK professional drivers had experienced an accident involving a child passenger.

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It is also essential to note that 75% of drivers rarely or never saw a passenger bring their own child seat.

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Public awareness campaigns should be conducted to educate the public on the importance of child passenger safety in taxis and the use of appropriate child car seats. This will help to improve passenger compliance and reduce the risk of injury.

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Why Don't Taxis Provide Child Car Seat?

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There are considerable differences between drivers and passengers. 31% reply from passengers prefer to refrain from allowing children onboard if a driver can not provide a child car seat.

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But only 4% of drivers' respondents think rejecting customers is an option.

For those passengers who need a child safety seat, 63% travel to or from school and 37% travel to or from airport.

75% of drivers drive the most in 40-60mph, while another 13% drive above 60 mph.

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56% UK professional drivers get their child car seat from Taxi/PHV company. 32% get it from donation.

Taxi companies support drivers child car seat

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Drivers do not feel being encouraged

75% drivers think taxi/PHV companies reimburse the child car seat cost will encourage them provide child car seat to child passengers.

"63% of drivers won't get extra pay when they provide a child car seat to passengers."

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The survey results suggest that the provision of child car seats is inadequate, with many drivers reporting difficulty in providing appropriate car seats, either due to unsuitable car seats or inadequate storage options. There is also a lack of financial incentives for drivers to provide child car seats.

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Children's Safety in Taxis Recommendations

The survey results demonstrate the need for greater attention to child passenger safety in taxis, including education and training programs for professional drivers, more adequate provision of child car seats, public awareness campaigns, and more stringent regulations and guidelines. By addressing these issues, we can improve the safety of child passengers in taxis and reduce the number of child passenger casualties in the UK.

1. Education and training programs

Education and training programs should be provided to professional drivers to improve their knowledge and understanding of child passenger safety, including the correct use of child car seats and the dangers of holding children on laps while driving. This will help drivers to better understand their responsibilities and improve the safety of child passengers.

2. Child car seat provision

Taxi and private hire vehicle companies should take a more active role in providing child car seats to passengers. This could include providing financial incentives to drivers to purchase and maintain appropriate car seats, and ensuring that storage options are adequate.

3. Public awareness campaigns

Public awareness campaigns should be conducted to educate the public on the importance of child passenger safety in taxis and the use of appropriate child car seats. This will help to improve passenger compliance and reduce the risk of injury.

4. Regulatory updates

There is a need for more stringent regulations and guidelines regarding child passenger safety in taxis, particularly in relation to the provision and use of child car seats. These regulations should be regularly updated and enforced to ensure compliance and improve safety.

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For further details, please see this research report.

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