The Wiggles are entertaining the kiddies, there is peace in the backseat and you just have to pop in to pay for petrol, surely its ok to leave the children for just a couple of minutes?

We hear stories of people leaving their children in the car all the time and some of the tragic consequences that can arise when they do. But is it an offence to leave the children in the car? Well, yes it certainly can be.

The Legislation that deals with these circumstances is the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW). Under this legislation, it is an offence for a person to leave a child or young person unsupervised in a motor vehicle in circumstances where:

• The child or young person becomes or is likely to become emotionally distressed, or
• The child’s or young person’s health becomes or is likely to become permanently or temporarily impaired.

Fines of up to $22,000.00 apply if you are found guilty of this offence.

Further, if a child is injured or endangered as a result of being left unsupervised in a motor vehicle, you can be charged under Criminal Law. These offences vary, but you may be charged with offences such as, abandonment of a child and causing grievous bodily harm. These offences are very serious and if convicted, you may face a lengthy term of imprisonment.

So think twice before popping to the shops or paying for that fuel, because little lives are in your hands and the consequences of this decision can be devastating.

Everingham Solomons have Solicitors with a wide range of knowledge of the Law, from traffic infringements to negligence, no matter your legal problem, we have the expertise to help because Helping You is Our Business.

Click here for more information on Sarah Rayner.