It is hard to believe more than 5400 parents in NSW have been fined and lost demerit points for not using the right restraint for their children.
Surely the majority of cases must be borne out of ignorance and not neglect?
With the seat belt rule in Australia having been driven home for decades, it is hard to comprehend that so many parents fail to secure their children adequately while in a motor vehicle.
NRMA Motoring and Services says part of the problem is a lack of education. If this is the case, there needs to be greater public awareness and the NSW government has a role to play.
Road safety messages of one sort or another are advertised periodically, but rarely feature child restraints. Usually, it is speeding, drink-driving and driver fatigue which attract the most attention.
With children regarded as the most precious cargo of all, it is alarming some parents fail to know if their child is restrained properly.
Fixing that problem can only be achieved through education. While an advertising campaign will draw attention to the issue, it won’t provide the education needed.
Delinquent parents who believe they won’t be in an accident are likely to learn more from fines.
Prompting parents to find out by consulting an expert is one thing, but the majority of offenders are probably less likely to seek out the few minutes help they need to safeguard their child.
With baby capsules and child seats a pass-on item, often the instructions have been discarded and then their use becomes an exercise of trial and error.
Educating motorists is a never-ending task for police and road safety authorities.
With this long weekend expected to see heavy traffic and plenty of drivers in a hurry, police have again been trying to convince drivers to slow down, take plenty of breaks and allow plenty of time to get to their destination.
Despite their best efforts and their heavy presence patrolling the roads, fatalities are likely, due to driver error.
The 2012 road toll so far this year is already 38 more than the same period last year. Drivers are still not getting the message.