Too many drivers playing loose with kids' lives

I recently did something I had been tempted to do every time I saw an unrestrained child in a car, but had never dared.

I got out of my car while at a traffic light, ran quickly to the car behind and politely asked the driver to put her toddler in his car seat.

I did so because the driver was about to go onto an expressway, and I am still haunted by the first inquest I attended as a young reporter following the death of a toddler involved in a minor car accident.

Then, because there was one extra adult in the car, the child's mother had him on her lap in the back seat, while his two siblings were safely strapped in.

Everyone else involved in the collision walked away with barely a scratch, but the mother unintentionally let go of her son at the point of impact.

The law here states that all children under the age of eight must be restrained in government-approved car seats, and yet, I regularly see even very young children roaming loose in cars or sitting on the laps of front-seat passengers.

These children are undoubtedly dearly loved, so is it ignorance of the dangers, ignorance of the law, or the mentality of "accidents are something that happen to other people" that explains this lack of care?

Maybe, more needs to be done to promote awareness about the dangers and the penalties for breaking these laws.

Sam Blakey (Mrs)