The transport ministry has reiterated that enforcement action on the use of child safety seats in private cars will only begin six months after the implementation of the ruling, which comes into effect on January 1.

Transport minister Anthony Loke said that action will only be taken against errant motorists starting from July. He explained that the first six months will be used to educate and increase awareness among the public of the safety aspect of the seats, Bernama reports.

“I do not want to always focus on summons. We have said that there will be no summons for the first six months but of course after that, if the law is not enforced, then it is not effective. After six months, there has to be action taken against anyone who does not abide by the law, if not you make a mockery of the law,” he said.

Loke said that enforcement does not mean that the ministry was adopting a hard line but instead wants to ensure the safety of children. “We are not taking a hard line, but we want the public to understand. We have said it many times, and I will continue saying that this ruling is for the sake of safety. We hope that parents understand, although we may face some hardship in terms of additional costs, but it is an expense that will save the lives of your children,” he said.

He said that the ministry would look at ways to reduce the price of the child safety seats since their use would be mandatory. “We will work with the private companies, non-governmental organisations, and we will encourage the companies to sponsor needy families,” he said.

“This (subsidy for CRS) cannot be across the board for everyone, as it involves a large sum (of money). We cannot give to everyone, but maybe to the needy. The point is this policy must start, if not, we will never do it. There must be a starting point, which is Jan 1,” he added.