Coffs named hotspot for children left locked in cars
COFFS Harbour has been named a hotspot for parents leaving children unattended and locked in cars, according to the NRMA.
NRMA mechanics were called to a total of 2,157 reports of children being left unattended in cars in NSW in the past 12 months to September, With Coffs coming in as the 7th location in NSW with the highest number of call outs.
In total, NRMA mechanics rescued 2,157 babies from unattended vehicles and 1,600 pets.
The NRMA says there are still cases where drivers intentionally leave young children unattended in vehicles because they are unaware of the dangerously high temperatures that cabins can reach, and are unaware of the penalties.
In NSW responsible adults leaving kids in unattended cars risk being fined up to $22,000.
According to the NRMA, in summer the temperatures inside cars can reach 80 degrees Celsius.
In NSW law it is an offence for a person to leave "any child or young person in the person's care in a motor vehicle without proper supervision for such period or in such circumstances that (a) the child or young person becomes or is likely to become emotionally distressed, or (b) the child's or young person's health becomes or is likely to become permanently or temporarily impaired.”
More than 2,000 children were also rescued from unattended vehicles over the past 12 months because hi-tech keys are inadvertently locking cars.
"It is important to note that most of these instances occur accidentally when mum or dad will strap their child in their car seat, leave them to play with the car keys while they are loading the boot with groceries, or closing up the car for their journey,” said NRMA executive general manager of motoring services, Samantha Taranto.
"Often, our patrols find parents to be more distressed when we arrive at the scene than the children.”
Top 10 locations for call outs:
Port Macquarie 8148
Castle Hill 7442
Sydney CBD 6636
Baulkham Hills 6339
Coffs Harbour 6034