Concerns over car safety for children

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 19 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 March, 2013, 5:03am

Several models of cars would not adequately protect children or pedestrians in the event of an accident, according to the results of tests released by the Consumer Council.

Crash tests conducted by the European New Car Assessment Programme showed that three out of 21 models tested provided only limited protection for children.

One of them is the luxury Jaguar XF, which is sold in Hong Kong. Its front passenger airbag cannot be temporarily disabled to stop it from deploying in an accident and hitting a rear-facing child's capsule that is installed on the passenger's seat.

The European study also showed that two models scored poorly in protecting pedestrians.

The Renault Fluence Z.E. electric car and Peugeot Expert van had bonnets made of hard metal and their bumpers were positioned at the knee level, which may cause severe injuries if the car ran into a pedestrian.

Also reported in the council's Choice magazine released yesterday were cases of excessive packaging in chocolate, biscuits and other gifts that created unnecessary waste.

"When you buy gifts, don't buy these wasteful ones and make your friends throw out so much waste for you," said Professor Ron Hui Shu-yuen, a member of the council's publicity and community relations committee.

The Choice report, which did not identify the brand, said about 30 pieces of chocolate were packaged in a bucket-shaped box but only half the box was filled.

The bottom half was taken up by a plastic platform.

In a box of crackers, the council found 27 packaging parts had been used to present just 18 pieces of crackers, which were each individually wrapped.