MELAKA, Oct 23 — It is hoped that the effort of the government to make the use of the child restrain system (CRS) mandatory from next year can instill the highway safety culture in society, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

She said the initiative was seen as able to receive the attention and support from parents and guardians because childrens’ safety should rightly be a priority at all times.

‘’Be responsible parents to protect our children especially when on the road. With the availability of a programme like this, I believe the effort of the government to reduce road fatalities can achieve its objective,’’ she said here today.

She said this in her speech when launching a programme on making compulsory the use of child safety seat at the Miros PC3 Crash Test Laboratory, which was also attended by Minister of Transport Anthony Loke here today.

Dr Wan Azizah, who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister. said children were also exposed to a high risk of injury if they were involved in road mishaps because their bodies are not the same as those of adults.

She said this matter should not be viewed lightly because losses of lives were calamities to the nation, what more from a group who would be the nation’s hope for the future.

Meanwhile, Loke, when met by reporters said, currently, the government had not decided on the penalties that would be imposed on those who failed to install the child seat and the enforcement which would start in January would be aimed at educating and not punishing.

‘’We want to foster awareness in the public on the importance of the this seat for safety purpose. I don’t want to give the impression that we only want to punish but on the other hand we want to educate the people and raise awareness among all,’’ he said.

He said the awareness of parents on the importance of using child safety seats in this country is still low at 36 per cent.

‘’I have asked the Road Safety Department of Malaysia (RSDM) to boost the spread of the message so that the public is more aware of the importance of the use of the child safety seat to protect children,’’ he added.

— BERNAMA

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