JPJ waiting for green light on child seat enforcement

The JPJ is ready and waiting for the green light from the transport ministry to enforce the use of vehicle child seats. JPJ director-general Datuk Seri Shaharuddin Khalid said that to date, the department has been merely doing advocacy work, advising road users who are not using child seats.

He said that from early this year till June 30, JPJ has issued 1,897 reminder notices to motorists. “Child seats or child restraint system (CRS) is part of the JPJ Act 1987 and should have been implemented in June this year. However, it was delayed by the ministry due to Covid-19. Enforcement will start once JPJ receives further notice from the ministry,” he told Bernama last week.

The JPJ D-G said that statistics from 2016 to 2018 show 1,707 accidents involving children ranging from infant age to 15 years old, according to Bukit Aman’s traffic department. He urged the public to not take this issue lightly. “CRS is vital for children, especially babies, as they are susceptible to serious injury due to weak neck muscles compared to adults,” he stressed.

The usage of child car seats in Malaysia became mandatory in January 2020, but then-transport minister Anthony Loke said that drivers will not be penalised for not complying with the rules for the first six months of the year, which was supposed to be the advocacy period.

July 1 was supposed to be the start date of full enforcement, but current transport minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong postponed it to a later date in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

So, parents won’t be issued fines for not having their kids in child seats for now. But do we really need a law to protect our precious cargo? According to the stats, there have been 1,559 deaths of children below the age of 10 from 2007 to 2017 in road accidents – don’t add to that stat.