Malaysian Transport Minister says Child Car Seats May Not Necessarily Be Implemented or Enforced

Automologist and father, ATHERTON, is confused by the Malaysian Transport Minister’s recent statement. 

We once wrote about whether child car seats should be made mandatory in Malaysia (no, they are not presently) and we thought it was a no-brainer. But the latest update from the Transport Ministry seems to have put a halt on that.

Read also: Should Car Seats for Kids be Mandatory in Malaysia?

Safety is paramount. Period. However, the Malaysian Transport Minister recently seemed to indicate that the government is putting the child car seat ruling on the shelf, for the time being.

It is definitely an unexpected move and makes you think “what is actually going on?”. After the new Transport Minister, Anthony Loke, took office, he seemed to have taken the bull by its horns and implemented changes swiftly and for the better. However, his latest statement has us scratching our heads.

“The Ministry needs to relook at the ruling and determine its practicality,” Loke said after visiting the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) in Kajang on Thursday.

Child car seats are rather lax in this part of the world. You will see children standing on the front passenger seat (yes, standing!) with no restraint whatsoever; children being carried by their parents on their laps, unbuckled; and children playing around on the backseats.

Image credit: via carsifu.my

It’s also not uncommon to see parents driving with their toddlers on their lap! One hand on the steering and the other hand holding the child. The excuse is: “Oh, just a short drive to the house/shops/etc” and “It’s just a short trip and moreover I’d have to buckle them up and I had to take the seat from the house/another car…..bla…bla….bla…”

A recent trip to Australia had my family split into different trains and cars because a child car seat wasn’t available, and law enforcement is extremely strict over there. You won’t find similar adherence to the law over here. It is a terrible shame and, make no mistake, parents and authorities are to blame. Let’s not pass the buck.

In a report by MIROS in 2013, it was found that “children transported in private vehicles (car, van, 4WD) are the first and second leading groups of casualties among children aged 1-4 years old and (43.8%) and 5-9 years old (30.2%)”. It highlights the need to implement child restraint systems as a priority.

Parents and guardians have to take proper safety measures for our young ones, whether there is a law or not. It is the logical thing to do.

And remember, an accident can occur in a second. 

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