New South Wales Police have released a frightening photo of a baby haphazardly strapped into a car seat, warning the set-up was potentially fatal.
The Traffic and Highway Patrol Command posted the image of the seven-month-old secured in a "very dangerous" position to its Facebook page on Sunday night.
Police in Dareton said they had stopped a gold Holden Commodore station wagon travelling east on the Sturt Highway, 30 kilometres west of Euston, at 3.30pm for a random breath test.
The occupants were a 27-year-old male driver with an international licence and a 24-year-old woman sat in the back with the child. "The baby was positioned forward facing in a car seat that was of very poor condition," police said.
"The anchor strap of the car seat was tied across the top of the car seat across the child's chest passing underneath his neck. The car seat was not secured or anchored in any way. The child did not have any seatbelt adjusted or fastened and was in a very dangerous position for a child of that age."
After officers discovered the car was unregistered, the obtained a suitable car seat for the child and took baby and mother to the nearest township in a police vehicle "due to the serious safety concerns".
The driver was issued with an infringement notice for the offence of driving with a child under four years old not restrained as prescribed and use of an unregistered vehicle.
The Facebook post warned: "All children must be safely fastened in the correct child car seat for their age and size. A child who is properly secured in an approved child car seat is less likely to be injured or killed in a car crash than one who is not. Children under 6 months must be restrained in an approved rearward-facing restraint.
"To ensure correct and safe installation of your child car seat, contact an Authorised Restraint Fitting Station."
Child restraint and medical professionals recommend that you keep your baby in a rear-facing restraint until as old as practicable, at least until they are 2 years of age.