BMW Malaysia and two groups – Childline Foundation and Safe ‘n Sound – are accelerating the adoption of child car seats through a subsidy programme, as part of the “BMW Safety 360°” initiative, where 150 units of infant carrier car seats will be made available at a subsidised price of RM100 each.
The company says this effort is in line with the Malaysian Transport Ministry’s move to enforce the usage of child car seats starting January 2020.
To encourage the adoption of child car seat usage, drivers will not be penalised for the first six months of enforcement but will receive warnings to install the seats.
BMW Group Malaysia managing director Harald Hoelzl said: “With only 30% of drivers using child car seats for their children, it became more imperative for us as automakers to press on for child safety, regardless of the challenges we encounter in the fight for its education and accessibility.
“It is encouraging to see the Ministry of Transport take a definite step into making child car seats mandatory in the year to come, but at the same time, recognise that there are parents who may have limited access to them – therefore providing tax breaks and reduced excise fee for child car seats.
“In support of that, we are now bringing the subsidy programme online to make infant carrier car seats accessible to households with income less than RM3,000 a month.”
BMW Malaysia and Safe ‘n Sound will be subsidising 150 snskidz Ace infant carrier car seats at RM100 each.
The rear-facing infant carrier car seat, which retails at RM199, can be used from birth to 13kg and carries the ECE R44-04 certification.
Parents can register for the subsidised infant carrier car seat at www.safensound.com.my/pages/child-car-seat-subsidy-programme from now until Dec 15.
Parents eligible for the subsidy will be notified, after which a payment of RM 100 must be made prior to the pick-up of the car seat.
Childline Foundation honorary project director Datin Wong Poai Hong said: “Parents will also be educated on the proper ways of choosing and installing the child car seats to ensure the utmost safety of their children upon collection of the infant carrier car seat. By educating them, we hope that they, too, will become advocates for child safety.”
BMW Group Malaysia head of corporate communications Sashi Ambi said: “While the BMW Safety 360° Programme has been running for over five years now, we hope to see more partners take active roles to ensure that child car seats are a norm in Malaysia, be it through education or increasing accessibility to them.
“Partners can also engage with Childline Foundation to further advocate for child safety. For both parents and partners, there is no better time than now to take action and they should not wait until the ruling comes into effect before considering child safety.”