On Sunday, February 28, a toddler fell from the back of a moving van that was driving on a busy highway in the city of Suzhou in east China’s Jiangsu Province. The boy was not injured.
The video where the toddler falls from the moving van was captured by the dashcam of the vehicle that was driving behind it.
According to CBS Miami, “The 2-year-old boy got out of the co-pilot seat, crawled to the back seats, and fell off the van from the trunk as his grandpa, the driver, just started the car after waiting at a red light.”
The video footage shows the toddler fall from the van, flip over, and then stand. The toddler began to run after the van when he realized what happened. Surrounding vehicles honked after the toddler stood up, perhaps to alert the driver of the van but maybe to alert the child to the danger he was in. Big trucks and buses pass by the toddler, swerving to avoid hitting him. The toddler continued to run after the van though. The people behind the now moving van managed to grab the toddler after he fell and went after the vehicle. The toddler can be heard crying in the video.
After the incident, Sky News was on the scene and spoke to the grandfather about the toddler. Yang Defu, the grandfather of the toddler, was driving the van at the time. He was stopped at a red light and moved forward when the light turned green. He noticed that there was someone honking their horn at him and he pulled over to find that the toddler was no longer in the vehicle.
How could this happen? How can a toddler fall from a moving vehicle and not be noticed?
GlobalNews says that the grandfather of the toddler said that, “the van was rear-ended the other day, and the trunk lid became loose.”
There are many questions that remain though. Did the grandfather know that the trunk door was loose or did he just find out when the accident happened. Why was the toddler moving around the vehicle. Why did the toddler not have a seatbelt on? Even without the seat belt, why wasn’t the grandfather watching the toddler so that he would know where he was and what he was doing?
In China, a toddler was not required by law to be in a car seat until March of 2014. It was only then that laws were put into effect that would require that a toddler or any child under the age of 4 years be in a car seat. However, these laws are only required in Shanghai and a few other cities and provinces. Other cities and provinces in China do not have these safety laws, which is likely why the toddler was able to move about the van freely.
It is not uncommon in China to see a toddler or even a very young baby not secured in moving vehicle. According to a research study that examined car safety knowledge of parents of infants and newborns, “Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviors on Child Passenger Safety among Expectant Mothers and Parents of Newborns: A Qualitative and Quantitative Approach,” “parental knowledge on child passenger safety was poor, and that many parents did not have a good understanding of child restraint systems.” The study goes on to state the most parents are unaware of car safety for children of all ages.
In North America, car safety for children has become a common issue and awareness is high among parents. Parents learn how to use car seats before they leave the hospital and are not allowed to take children home without a proper car seat. But in other countries, like China, it is common for parents of infants to hold a baby in their lap while in a moving vehicle; a toddler would usually be buckled into a normal seat belt.
What do you think about this?
[Image source: YouTube]