KUALA LUMPUR (April 26): The awareness level on the importance of installing child seats in cars among parents is still low at 26 percent despite the move to make it compulsory by next year.
Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Kamaruddin Jaafar said there were parents who viewed lightly the possibility of infants and children to be injured or killed in a car accident by placing them at the passenger seats or on their laps.
He said studies carried out by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) found that 31 percent of the 53 children and infants involved in road accidents succumbed to their injuries.
“We have about eight months before it will be enforced and that is why we are intensifying the campaign on the child safety seat installation so that it will not shock parents when it is finally implemented,” he said.
He was speaking to reporters after officiating the Malaysia Buckle Up campaign at the Putra World Trade Centre, today. Also present was MIROS director-general Dr Siti Zaharah Ishak.
Kamarudin added that his ministry has submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to exclude the Service Sales Tax (SST) so that the seats would be more affordable to the public.
“There has been discussion and generally MoF accepts it in principle, I believe there will be positive results, if not 100 percent, at least there will be a price cut,” he said.
Meanwhile, Siti Zaharah said MIROS is currently in the process of preparing the guidelines which would include aspects of compliance with regulatory standards, the procedure for its use on the road as well the sales of the seat either at store or online.
The guidelines would then be handed over to the Transport Ministry in June before to be adopted by all parties, she said.
The Malaysia Buckle Up campaign is part of the Malaysia Save Our Future programme aimed at educating the public on the importance of using a child safety seat while traveling in a moving vehicle.