The excuse of ‘it is just a short distance’ should never be used particularly in the context of not wearing helmets when children are riding to school as accidents can happen regardless of the journey’s distance, said Melaka public works, transport and public amenities committee chairman Datuk Mohd Sofi Abdul Wahab, as reported by Bernama.

Many parents still regarded the use of helmets as a trivial matter as they do not wear the helmets themselves, in addition to not having their children wear theirs, said Mohd Sofi. “In the mornings and afternoons, parents will be sending or picking up their children from school. This is the peak period, so the probability of accidents happening is higher,” he told the news site.

Motorcyclists and pillion riders recorded the highest fatality rates in the country last year, comprising 4,128 out of 6,284 road users who died in 2018.

“I think that is selfish of the parents or guardians as they are not concerned about the safety of their children. In the event of a blow to the head which is unprotected, there is a high possibility of nerve damage and death. I hope the parents are aware and more concerned about the importance of wearing a helmet especially among children,” said Mohd Sofi.

Meanwhile, the habit of not wearing a helmet when riding to school to send or pick up children was not uncommon, Bernama reported civil servant Mohd Hanafiah Mohd Salim as saying. “Everybody knows it is a rule to wear a helmet when they ride, but they do not see it as a rule especially when enforcement is lax. The enforcers should set up road roadblocks near schools and issue warnings to the motorists,” he said.

Many parents also did not use the right size of helmets for their children, said private college lecturer, Sarimah Ismail. “In the event of an accident, the over-sized helmet would come off and fail to protect the children’s heads. Some also use helmets which are worn out, with broken straps or are broken,” she said.