Shocking video has emerged of a couple driving on a busy road with a baby crawling onto the dashboard.
Road safety educator Craig Waters was driving at about 11am on Sunday on Myers Street in Geelong, southwest of Melbourne, when he saw the baby sitting on the dash of the Hyundai 4WD.
“I saw this car go past me and I thought, ‘Geez, I don’t believe it, but I think I’ve just seen a child sitting on the dash of a car’,” the iDriveSafety driving school principal told Yahoo7 News.
“This is Australia, this does not happen.”
Mr Waters turned to pass the car, and captured the whole thing on his dashcam.
“I saw the child on the dash and mum and dad actually had their seatbelts on and the child is literally sitting on the airbag, climbing on the dash of a car,” he said.
“It shocked me.”
Mr Waters, who started his driving school in 1986, said this was the worst thing he had ever seen on our roads and he instantly called police.
“It knocked me about. I had to take a few moments after I rang the police. I thought, surely this is a dream or a nightmare I’m going to wake up from,” he said.
“Imagine an airbag that inflates from 0 to 300km/h. What would have happened to that infant if that airbag exploded with an infant sitting on it? We would have been talking a fatality.
“Can we send these parents back to parenting 101 class?”
Mr Waters said it would be cheaper and easier to buy a proper child restraint than risk the cost of losing an infant.
“It makes the hairs on my arms stand up,” he said.
“The baby had a bib on and was still crawling so I would suggest it was under one. Imagine with that head developing and you brake a little too hard and it hits the window, you have a brain injury.
“Come on parents, seriously, it’s the future generation of Australia you’re playing with here.”
The Transport Accident Commission told Yahoo7 News in a statement it was critical for children to be restrained properly.
“Research shows that children who are incorrectly restrained are up to seven times more likely to be seriously injured in a crash than those with the correct and properly fitted restraints,” TAC lead director road safety Samantha Cockfield said.
“Correctly fitted child car seats are incredibly effective in protecting children in the event of a crash or heavy braking.”
Mr Waters said the police were baffled by his report of the child on the dashboard.
Victoria Police told Yahoo7 News in a statement it was investigating the incident.
They are appealing for witnesses and dashcam footage of the incident to come forward.
Anybody with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or lodge a report online.
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