A MOTHER who was caught with a toddler on her lap in the back seat of a car has sparked calls for tougher sentences.
The woman was stopped by police in the borough last Friday (February 6) after officers from the Central Motorway Police Group noticed the two-year-old was unrestrained on her lap.
Currently the law states children under 12, or those who are shorter than 135cm, must use a child car seat.
Anyone spotted committing the offence could be issued with an on-the-spot fine of £100 which could then rise to £500 if the case is taken to court.
But Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said the offence should carry penalty points as well.
“A parent would not be able to hold onto a child in a crash, no matter how hard they tried – the child would be thrown about inside the car, and possibly through one of the windows.”
He added: “We would like to see failing to wear a seat belt, or failing to secure a child in a child car seat, attract penalty points as well as a fine.”
Anna Higgins, from West Mercia Safer Roads Partnership, said although many people belted up as soon as they got in the car, there were unfortunately some who still chose not to wear them or restrain children properly.
Redditch MP Karen Lumley said she was deeply shocked by the incident.
“I don’t not know of any plans to take a stronger position on seat belts and child seats but I will be asking questions of the Government to establish if anything further needs to be done.”