Make child car seats mandatory earlier than 2019, say parents

By GEORGE WONG | 13 July 2015

PETALING JAYA: Parents have urged the Government to make child car seats mandatory earlier, instead of in 2019.

Dayna Chan Sook Har, a mother of a 20-month-old, said many people did not realise that unrestrained children could easily get hurt or die even in minor traffic accidents.

“As a mum, it is quite sad to see all those child deaths due to car accidents. When the law is implemented, there won’t be this many,” she said.

Chan is uncompromising when using child car seats, even on short journeys.

Chew Wei Sern, 31, said if it was compulsory for adults to wear safety belts, then children should not be exempted from equivalent safety measures as they were even more vulnerable.

“The Government could look into subsidising the cost for certain car seats to make them more affordable,” he added.

Teh Huey Ching, who always drives her 17-month-old nephew around, said having the matter codified would ensure parents were not lax with strapping their children down.

“Sometimes, the toddler refuses to sit in the seat, and parents don’t have time to force the child, and they give in. The law would force the parents to train the child right from the start to get used to the child seat,” she explained.

Kribashini Sateyen Selen said she would always use the child seat for her two-year old child.

“At least with a child seat, the children get to sit comfortably and also have their safety ensured,” she said.

Nazri Muhammad, 39, said that while child car seats might be expensive, the child’s life was even more precious.

“If it is too expensive you can always buy used ones,” he said.

On Saturday, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai dismissed claims that the ministry would be enforcing the use of child seats in 2016.

He said the seats cost from RM750 to RM4,000 each, and is a burden to many parents.

"We understand it is expensive, that is why we are not enforcing it yet. However, the ministry encourages their use as they keep children safe," he said.

Liow had also said rear seat passengers should start to "belt-up".

The Transport Minister revealed the only 9% of passengers sitting in the rear fasten their seatbelts.

"We have implemented it since 2009 but according to the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros), only seven to nine percent use the rear seat belts," he said.

To ensure passengers practice safe driving habits this coming festive season, the Road Safety Department and the Royal Malaysian Police force will start enforcing the rear seat belt ruling, said Liow.