On Wednesday, 23 October, Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail announced that the government would make the use of child safety seats in vehicles mandatory starting 1 January 2020
The efforts to make the usage of the Child Restraint System (CRS) mandatory are vital in ensuring that childrens' safety becomes a priority at all times, said Dr Wan Azizah, who is also the Women, Family, and Community Development Minister.
"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," Malay Mail reported the DPM as saying during the official launch of Vehicle Safety Week 2019 event at the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) PC3 Crash Test Laboratory in Melaka.
The event on making compulsory the usage of child safety seat starting 1 January 2020 was also attended by Transport Minister Anthony Loke, who said that the usage rate of child safety seats among parents in Malaysia remains low at 36%.
At the event, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail unveiled the official Child Restraint System (CRS) guidelines called 'Buku Garis Panduan Kerusi Keselamatan Kanak-Kanak di Malaysia' (Guidelines for Child Restraint System in Malaysia) developed specifically by MIROS
The new book is a strategic document that represents the new rules and regulations that will be introduced by the Ministry of Transport and enforced by authorities regarding the use of Child Restraint Systems (or child car seat) in Malaysia.
Apart from assisting parents about which CRS is most suitable according to the child's age and size, the book will also be beneficial for those who have no clue on how to go about buying the many different child car seats available in the Malaysian market.
It will also prepare all the authorities about certification compliance, procedures, enforcement of laws for child seat usage on road, and sales in both business premises and online by the time the new law is implemented in a couple of months.
So what are you, as a parent or guardian, are supposed to know?
First off, the CRS set any parents/guardians in the country are planning to purchase must be in compliance with the United Nations (UN) Regulation No. 44 (ECE R44/04) and Regulation No. 129 (ECE R129), as only those are allowed for use here.
According to an exclusive report in Bernama, MIROS research officer Nurulhana Borhan said that the standards have been set by the UN Regulation (UNR) as the safety measure for children with a height of 135cm and below.
"In addition to the UNR certification, each CRS or child safety seat product will have an orange e-mark sticker with information such as product category by weight or height and approval number," Nurulhana was quoted as saying by Bernama
"It also needs to have a valid QR label sticker from MIROS, which records CRS technical specifications according to the standard."
This QR label sticker uses a white background and is 50mm tall and 40mm wide.
It will be placed by all retailers of child restraint systems on their products and will contain certification authenticity (either UN R44 or UN R129), recommendations on suitability based on the child's dimensions, and how to properly install them.
Parents are also advised to not be fooled by the cheap CRS
Nurulhana told Bernama that there were brand manufacturers that failed to pass the standard stipulated but attach the labels illegally.
"When it comes to safety issues, no parent should not compromise. However, not all quality CRS sets are sold at RM1,000 per unit.
"There are actually CRS sets which are in compliance with the safety standards and tests but priced as low as RM150 to RM300," the MIROS research officer said.
Meanwhile, if you get involved in a car accident, there are certain things you can do to protect yourself and your interests: