The Malaysian Consumers Association (Maconas) took Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai to task yesterday for not making the use of child safety seats compulsory in Malaysia, especially when transporting infants and young children in cars.
There seem to be a lack of will-power coming from the minister and the relevant government agencies in enforcing such rule although we have made representation on this issue much earlier.
The safety of passengers does not only apply to adults, but equally should also be applied to infants and children in vehicles. It is most disheartening to hear of yet another loss of life due to an accident on Monday along the North-South Expressway near Seremban, all because no child safety seats were installed.
If the child was strapped into the child safety seat, then the loss of life could have been avoided and would have prevented the child from being thrown out of the car from the impact.
It is imperative that such measures be made compulsory as this will help save lives of young children seated in a car.
Thousands of vehicles are driven daily and children ranging from infant to five-year-olds are at risk as they are seated at the back of the car without proper restraints, which is a ticking time bomb.
There are also parents who put the child on the front seats or on their laps when the car is driven. This is not only dangerous to the front passenger but also to the child seated.
According to a survey done, statistics shows that car seats reduces the risk of death by 71 percent on infants and by 54 percent for children aged between one and five.
If we are going to be serious on road safety, then we have to be serious about making sure that precautions are put in place to ensure safety of the passengers in vehicle.
The authorities should enforce the rules pertaining to seat belts which will certainly improve road safety on the Malaysian roads. Having rules and not enforcing them strictly, will defeat the purpose of the very first place of such legislation.
AMARJIT SINGH GILL is president, Malaysian Consumers Association.