A non-profit consumer group has urged the government to make the use of child safety seats in passenger vehicles mandatory without any further delay. The Malaysian Consumers Association (Maconas) said that such a move – which it has long proposed – will help reduce fatalities and serious injuries, Berita Harian reports.

Its president, Datuk Amarjit Singh Gill, said the ministry of transport and relevant government agencies should be committed to making the use of such seats compulsory. He said that it will prevent incidents in which children are thrown out of the car in accidents, as was the case two days ago when a five-year-old boy died after being flung out of his parents’ car when it was hit by a bus.

“The safety of passengers in a vehicle is not only applicable to adults but to children and infants as well. It is sad to learn that a life was lost in the accident on the North-South Expressway near Seremban yesterday because there was no child seat in place,” he said in a statement.

Amarjit believed that the loss of life could have been avoided if the boy had been secured properly with the use of a seat belt and a child safety seat.

He said thousands of vehicles are on the road every day and children – from infants to five – are always at risk being seated in the back seat without any tailored safety features in place. He lamented the fact that there are still many who have a nonchalant attitude towards safety, citing those who place a child on their lap while seated in front as an example.

Amarjit said that based on previous studies, statistics showed that the use of safety seats can reduce the risk of death by 71% for infants and 54% for children aged one to five years. “If we are serious about improving road safety, we must also be serious in ensuring that all precautionary measures are taken to ensure the safety of all passengers in the vehicle,” he stated.