A mum was caught driving almost double the speed limit with her two toddlers unrestrained in the car, police said.
The kids, aged two and three, were asleep when the speeding vehicle was pulled over by police in the US state of Florida on Tuesday. Neither of them were in a car seat.
The woman, who wasn't wearing a seatbelt, was driving on a highway with a speed limit of 80km/h, but she was going as fast as 144km/h, police said.
A photo shared by Volusia Sheriff's Office shows one of the children curled up in the front passenger seat and the other sleeping in the back – they didn't appear to have seat belts on.
"Deputies advised her if she crashed at the speeds she was travelling, she and both children likely would have been killed, as none of them were restrained. She stated she didn’t plan on getting into a crash," police said in a statement shared on Facebook.
"Florida law requires children age 5 and under to be secured properly in a crash-tested, federally approved child restraint device," they said.
When quizzed about the car seats, the mum said she'd left them at home in another vehicle because she didn’t want to strap them in while they were sleeping.
Following the incident, the mum was charged with child neglect and possession of a controlled substance, which was later identified as the narcotic painkiller Tramadol.
She was also issued citations for speeding, careless driving and three seatbelt violations.
An unknown adult later arrived on the scene with car seats and safely drove the kids home.
Car seat regulations in Australia
In Australia, children up to the age of seven must be fitted into an appropriate car seat or booster chair.
In Victoria, children up to four years old are required to be fitted into either a rear or forward-facing seat, with forward-facing seats most suitable for kids above the age of four.
In NSW, similar rules apply. Babies up to six months old must face the back of the car. But at any age between six months and four years old, parents have the option to face forward depending on their height.
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