Large families exempted from child safety seats rule, says ministry

Child safety seats and seat belts for rear passengers will be made mandatory for all private vehicles beginning next year. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The transport ministry today said it would exempt large families from installing child restraint seats (CRS) in their vehicles, acknowledging that the directive would be difficult and costly for them to implement.

Deputy Transport Minister Kamarudin Jaffar gave the example of a family with four children, saying it would be hard to fit so many seats in a single car.

As someone with many children himself, he added, he could relate to such problems.

“I am looking at some flexibility when it comes to children between 120cm and 135cm tall,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat.

“Imagine if parents have four children – what vehicle would they drive? Don’t tell me they need to use a Toyota Alphard,” he added.

He was responding to Cha Kee Chin (PH-Rasah) who asked about the rule requiring the use of child safety seats and seat belts for rear passengers in all private vehicles beginning next January.

He said the CRS rule would be implemented in stages, adding that the government wished to educate the people, not punish them.

He also said his ministry had zero-rate import duties and reduced the sales and services tax on CRS to 5% to help reduce the people’s financial burden.

“We are serious about making this mandatory as 14% to 15% of children are killed in road accidents,” he said.