Child occupant safety is a very poorly understood subject in Malaysia. Count the number of parents who put their babies on their laps in a moving vehicle and you’ll know what we mean. A number of recent road incidents featured deaths of children that could easily have been preventable had they been strapped into a properly fastened child seat.
To help raise awareness on the matter, the New Car Assessment Programme for Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN NCAP) will be organizing an ASEAN NCAP Child Safety Day on 11 November 2015 at noted airbag and seatbelt supplier Autoliv Hirotako Safety Sdn. Bhd.
The event aims to promote the use of child restraint system (CRS) and to educate the public on standards governing the quality and installation CRS seats. The highlight of the event will be a demonstration to evaluate the performance of a child seat.
ASEAN NCAP Chairman, Prof. Dr. Wong Shaw Voon said, “ASEAN NCAP Child Safety Day is a positive step towards promoting the importance of using CRS. CRS is able to minimize the risk of a child being fatally injured when involved in an accident. We are also inviting a speaker from Japan New Car Assessment Program (JNCAP) to share their experiences in CRS and hope to educate the public on this.”
According to ASEAN NCAP Secretary-General, Mr. Khairil Anwar Abu Kassim, “We have been planning the event since middle of this year. The timing is opportune with the recent complaint we received from a consumer regarding the removal of top tether in one of our tested vehicles.”
Khairil added that top tether is an important component to improve child protection system inside a vehicle apart from ISOFIX.
Most importantly, however, Khairil also emphasized that, “The significant value of top tether can only be seen when the child is restraint inside a child seat. If no child seat is used, with or without top tether, it will not make any difference of protecting the child inside the vehicle.”
Mr. Yahaya Ahmad, ASEAN NCAP’s child safety expert, adds that, “Other than simply using child seats, it is also important to correctly install child seats inside a vehicle by parents or care givers in order to obtain maximum protection. Hence, we are also arranging for an expert to perform a demo on how to use child seat correctly.”
Currently, ASEAN NCAP’s evaluation mechanism puts a tested vehicle in a frontal offset impact conducted at 63kph. The test is conducted by having adult crash test dummies (Hybrid III 50th percentile – male) at both front seats and two child dummies (P3 and P1.5) strapped inside child seats at the rear.
The crash performance of each car is evaluated based on simulated injuries sustained by the four occupant dummies, with scores given for adult and child occupant protection. Adult occupant protection scores are given on a scale of 16.00 marks, whilst child occupant protection performance is measured on a percentage scale.
Both scores are summarized as star ratings (on a scale of five) for easy understanding by the general public. To date, the Nissan Teana L33 is the highest-scoring car ever tested by ASEAN NCAP, having achieved a maximum possible 16.00 in adult occupant protection and 88 percent for child occupant protection, translating to five-star ratings for both aspects.
Attendance at the ASEAN NCAP Child Safety is currently open only to invited guests. Interested parties who would like to attend the event are encouraged to register themselves with ASEAN NCAP Communications Officer, Mrs. Salina Mustaffa at 03-89249200 (ext. 425) by 30 October 2015 as only limited seats are available.