PAR­ENTS RISK LIVES OF KIDS

PO­LICE SHOCKED TO FIND 34 CHIL­DREN TRAV­EL­LING IN CARS UN­RE­STRAINED

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Ali­son Bald­ing

IF RE­PORT cards were given for driver be­hav­iour, traf­fic po­lice say Mt Druitt would re­ceive a “big fail” af­ter 34 chil­dren in one day were found trav­el­ling un­re­strained.

Of­fi­cers con­duct­ing Op­er­a­tion Com­pli­ance 4 were shocked by the “com­plete dis­re­gard for the law” and the lives of so many chil­dren, some as young as two.

In one car, Traf­fic and High­way Pa­trol of­fi­cers were alarmed to find six chil­dren be­ing put at risk.

MORE than 30 young lives were put at risk on our roads in just one day as Mt Druitt driv­ers failed to en­sure they were se­cured safely in the car.

Of 35 fines is­sued to driv­ers for child re­straint and seat­belt fail­ures last Wed­nes­day, an alarm­ing 34 re­lated to chil­dren.

In one car, Traf­fic and High­way Pa­trol of­fi­cers found six chil­dren, aged be­tween two and six, were be­ing put at risk.

Of the six, three had no seat­belts on, two were sit­ting in unan­chored car seats and a five-year-old was sit­ting in the front seat.

In another car, four chil­dren were not prop­erly se­cured.

Of those, two seven-yearolds weren’t wear­ing seat­belts, a five-year-old had no seat­belt on and no booster seat, and a two-year-old was in a booster seat but wasn’t strapped in.

Safer child re­straint rules, in­tro­duced from March 1, 2010, re­quire chil­dren un­der seven years of age to be re­strained in a “suit­able and ap­proved child re­straint or booster seat when trav­el­ling in a car”.

The leg­is­la­tion also bans chil­dren un­der seven from trav­el­ling in the front seat of a ve­hi­cle that has two or more rows, un­less all the other back seats are oc­cu­pied by chil­dren who are also un­der seven years and trav­el­ling in an ap­proved child re­straint.

Mt Druitt traf­fic Sergeant Julie Un­der­wood said one of the adult pas­sen­gers in­volved wasn’t even wear­ing a seat­belt them­selves.

“The mother, who was driv­ing, was also a can­celled driver,” Sgt Un­der­wood said.

“Mak­ing mat­ters worse, the fa­ther of the chil­dren was sit­ting next to the twoyear-old with­out a seat­belt on him­self.”

Sgt Un­der­wood said there was no ex­cuse for de­lib­er­ately flout­ing the law.

Driv­ers were fined $319 and given three de­merit points for each child not prop­erly re­strained.

The alarm­ing trend was dis­cov­ered as the traf­fic of­fi­cers con­ducted Op­er­a­tion Com­pli­ance 4, tar­get­ing mo­bile phone use, school zone speed­ing and seat­belt use.

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