CLICK IT TO RIDE
FEARS FOR CHILDREN AS CAR SAFETY TAKES A BACK SEAT
PARENTS are putting their children’s lives at risk by not correctly restraining them in cars, new figures show.
More fines were handed out in Mt Druitt for child restraint offences than nearly any other area in NSW, with more than 200 issued in the past year according to data released by the Office of State Revenue.
At $311 for each offence, people fined in the area paid almost $70,000 in the 12 months from July last year.
By far the largest number of offences were for not correctly restraining children aged from six months to under four years old, with 157 fines issued over the year.
The law states that these children must be secured in either a rear- or forward-facing approved child restraint with an in-built harness.
However, there were still 10 cases of unrestrained babies under six months old, 15 fines for unrestrained children between four and seven years, and 34 for children between seven and 16 years old.
Mt Druitt traffic sergeant Julie Underwood said police regularly saw children placed in danger by being unrestrained in vehicles.
“It’s quite common in this area, and is especially very noticeable when we are performing RBTs because obviously they are pulling in so we are able to see everyone sitting in the vehicle,” she said.
“Sometimes they’re just not restrained at all, or the children’s seats aren’t anchored to anything. I saw a baby capsule seated in the front passenger seat without anything restraining it.”
Sgt Underwood said there was a huge amount of publicity when the new child
seat laws came into effect a few years ago, so parents had no excuse for failing to correctly restrain their children .
She warned drivers that not restraining children correctly was extremely dangerous, especially if they were to be involved in an accident.
“They may not be at fault for an accident but if children aren’t being restrained they will go flying through the front windscreen,” Sgt Underwood said.
“That’s often how we shock the drivers when we give them that example.
“They may be a good driver, but others may not be.”
For information on the child restraint laws visit childcarseats.com.au/legal-requirements