The seats themselves will be given to the Association of Registered Childcare Providers Malaysia (PPBM) in a collaborative attempt to raise awareness on the importance of having a child seat. PPBM began its work last December (2014) and through its various campaigns and activities, has since educated some 28,000 parents on the matter.
Puan Sharifah Salmah Syed Harun, Director of Human Resource, Volkswagen Malaysia, said “As a responsible automaker, we believe in the importance of cultivating children’s safety in cars. Our goal is to change mind-sets and increase awareness about child passenger safety.
“Hence, our collaboration with PPBM which involves the roll out of a Child Passenger Safety (CPS) training module. We are also pleased to contribute 200 Volkswagen child seats for educational purposes and 10,000 copies of the A-Z of road safety flash cards to be given to all participants.”
Only recently, after a few highlighted road accidents involving infants being thrown out of cars, is the government moving towards enforcing a law that will require parents to have their child passengers braced by the safety of child seats.
At the very beginning of this year, the government had enforced that all new vehicles sold in Malaysia must offer ISOFIX child-seat anchors – despite the anchorage points being developed by Volkswagen and child safety seat maker, Britax-Roemer, back in 1997.
Obviously, the risks posed by not using child seats have long existed – in 2013 alone, statistics have shown that 53 children and babies were recorded to be involved in car accidents: 31 of that had died.
The Volkswagen representative continued to say that, “We are deeply saddened to learn of the recent fatal accidents involving infants in which no child safety seat was in use.
“Statistics have shown that child seats reduce the risk of death by 71% for infants and 54% for children between the ages of one and five. This also fortifies our intention of providing safety features in our fleet of cars such as the ISOFIX and many more.”
Problem is, naturally, that if you’ve been to your average store to find them, child seats that meet the UN ECE R44 standard requirements, aren’t the most affordable items you could buy for your car. That’s a separate issue for another time, one that we hope will be addressed by the right authorities.
One bit of shining light, however, is that manufacturer like Volkswagen is well aware of the situation, and is seemingly doing more and more about it. BMW Malaysia is another example, offering their range of R44-conpliant child seats at promotional prices to assert their availability.