The government has announced that the enforcement of child car seat usage has been postponed until the end of the year, Bernama reports. This follows on the announcement made in July, when it said that enforcement was being deferred until a later date.
Usage of child car seats in Malaysia became mandatory in January this year. However, then-transport minister Anthony Loke said that drivers would not be penalised for not complying with the rules for the first six months of the year, with July 1 the date when enforcement was set to begin.
According to transport minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong, the grace period will allow the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) to review the suitability of enforcing the use of child restraint system (CRS) devices, with a comprehensive action plan on it being announced later. He added that no summons will be issued until the end of the year to vehicle owners who do not have a CRS installed.
“The ministry is looking at feedback from the public, on the standards of weight, height and age of children that have to use CRS so that it remains on par and relevant to international safety standards. I have also instructed MIROS to discuss with the associations of vehicle manufacturers and dealers, as well as the manufacturers and importers of CRS to reduce the cost of CRS,” he explained.
“Give us until end of the year, until we have enough narrative and advocacy to implement the ruling,” he said in response to a question by Datuk Zakaria Mohd Edris @ Tubau (Bersatu-Libaran) at the Dewan Rakyat, who asked for an update on the status of the mandatory CRS policy and whether there were plans to extend the implementation of its usage to the public transport sector.
To the latter question, Wee said that at present, the use of CRS was only compulsory for private vehicles, as there were constraints to expand its implementation to public vehicles due to practicality factors. However, he said, public vehicles such as taxis and e-hailing are encouraged to provide universal CRS for customers.
He reiterated that which was previously said, that making the use of CRS compulsory was for child safety, and not to cause inconvenience to the public. “It is to change the public’s mindset and attitude on the importance of using CRS to ensure the safety of their children,” he stated.
Despite the delay in enforcing this vital ruling, the advice remains – the benefits of using a child seat are obvious, and you shouldn’t need a law to force you to do what is best for the well-being and safety of your children.