Do you drive with children in your car? Are you fully aware of the laws around using the appropriate child seat? If your knowledge is a little sketchy, the good and bad news is you’re not alone. Almost nine in 10 parents admit that they are baffled by new booster seat rules and regulations.
Introduced last February, the updated rules were meant to provide clarity for mums, dads and carers when it came to securing a child safely in a car. Yet safety experts say that far from helping clarify the use of child seats, the rules have caused confusion.
Worryingly, almost one in five drivers with children under the age of 12 admit they rarely or never sit them in a car seat. So what are the guidelines that drivers should be following?
What the survey found
Choosing the right car seat for children can be confusing at the best of times. But now the government has introduced new car seat rules, in line with United Nations legislation, which is aimed at phasing out the use of simple booster cushions for young children.
Previously, children as young as three-years old, or weighing more than 15kg, were legally allowed to use a basic booster cushion.
However, safety experts have long held concerns that the cushion-style seats offer little, if any protection to children in the event of a car accident. The UN cites EU figures, from 2010. These showed that nearly half of all children killed in road crashes were passengers in a vehicle.
The new legislation means only children taller than 125cm or weighing more than 22kg will be permitted to use a backless booster purchased after 9 February 2017.
Booster seats in a car are frequently a simple solution for parents as children grow taller and older. The appeal of such cushion-type seat bases is easy to see: they’re affordable (as little as £10), compact, light and portable. They are also easy to fit to any car as they are secured by a seat belt, rather than Isofix mounts. But Britax, a leading manufacturer of in-car child seats, says that the cheaper booster-type seats are dangerous. Continue reading