The Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) wants child restraint systems in vehicles to be made compulsory.
Miros director-general Prof Dr Ahmad Farhan Mohd Sadullah said there were no legal provisions currently to make it mandatory for adults ferrying children to use child restraint systems.
“One of the primary areas being looked into is the need for children to be kept safe in vehicles,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Research has shown that the safest place in a car for a child is the rear seat.
“Parents and adults in a vehicle must always ensure that children of all ages are properly secured when travelling, either in a dedicated child seat, infant seat or buckling up their seat belts,” Dr Farhan said.
He said road accident statistics revealed a high number of road fatalities involving children.
Children between one and 15 years old accounted for 410 fatalities in 2008, with 2,797 having suffered slight to serious injuries.
“Of the figure, 43% involved children travelling on motorcycles,” Dr Farhan added.
He said residential areas were also becoming increasingly dangerous in terms of road accidents involving children.
“In the same year, 75 children were killed, 192 seriously injured and 424 sustained slight injuries from road accidents that occurred within housing areas.”
Unrestrained children could be flung out of vehicles, thrown against the front windscreen or dashboard and result in serious injury or death, he said.
“A child in the front seat, on the lap of a parent, can be crushed between the parent and the dashboard in the event of a collision,” he added.