The key to keep­ing chil­dren safe

Stanthorpe Border Post - - FAMILY LIFE LIFE - — Joshua Dowl­ing

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.

PHOTO: ISTOCK

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