More than 5,400 parents in NSW have been fined and lost demerit points for not using the right restraint for their children, highlighting the ongoing concerns around child and toddler safety in cars.
The Office of State Revenue data from 1 July 2010 to 31 July 2012 has been released by NRMA Motoring & Services to educate parents around the need to use child restraints for children under the age of seven and ensure parents choose the correct restraint for their child.
NRMA President Wendy Machin said it was alarming that seven parents a day had been booked for not having a child under seven fastened in an approved child restraint.
“For something so risky it is alarming that such little education and awareness is out there around parents keeping their children safe in cars,” Ms Machin said.
“Over 5,400 parents have lost three demerit points and have been fined since national laws were introduced in March 2010 but the real concern is what happens if there is a crash and the child is not properly restrained.
“It’s clear that the message is not getting across and we need more education.”
Data obtained from the Office of State Revenue from 1 July 2010 – 31 July 2012 included:
- 259 drivers fined for having a passenger under 6 months old not in a fastened/adjusted/approved restraint.
- 2,610 drivers fined for having a passenger six months or older, but less than four years not restrained as prescribed by the NSW road rules.
- 2,604 drivers fined for having a passenger older than four years, but less than seven years not restrained as prescribed by the NSW road rules.
“We want the NSW Government to provide more information to the public around child restraints and how to use them properly,” Ms Machin said.
“Neither ignorance nor complacency should be an excuse to put a child’s life at risk.”
NSW child restraint laws:
- Children younger than six months must be secured in a rearward facing restraint.
- Children aged six months to under four years must be secured in either a rear or forward facing restraint.
- Children aged four years to under seven years must be secured in forward facing child restraint or booster seat.
- Children younger than four years cannot travel in the front seat of a vehicle with two or more rows.
- Children aged four years to under seven years cannot travel in the front seat of a vehicle with two or more rows, unless all other back seats are occupied by children younger than seven years in a child restraint or booster seat.
For more information about child restraints visit: http://mynrma.com.au/childsafety.