The key to keeping children safe
NRMA roadside mechanics rescued more than 2000 children from unattended vehicles during the past 12 months because hi-tech keys are inadvertently locking cars.
Parents trying to keep their kids happy while loading shopping into the boot give the keys to toddlers to play with, only to have the doors lock.
“It is important to note that most of these instances occur accidentally when mum or dad will strap their child in their car seat, leave them to play with the car keys while they are loading the boot with groceries, or closing up the car for their journey,” said NRMA executive general manager of motoring services Samantha Taranto.
“Often, our patrols find parents to be more distressed when we arrive at the scene than the children.”
The NRMA says there are also still cases where drivers intentionally leave young children unattended in vehicles because they are unaware of the dangerously high temperatures that cabins can reach — and are unaware of the penalties.
In NSW, responsible adults leaving kids in unattended cars risk being fined up to $22,000; in Queensland, the penalty is up to three years in prison; in Victoria there is a risk of three months in jail.