Road Safety News
 

'Seatbelt Sheriff' comes to town

Wednesday 2nd March 2011

With help from the Seatbelt Sheriff, 95 Alive, the York and North Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership, is raising awareness of the importance of seatbelts and correctly sized child car seats.

The campaign comes as a national survey found that on average more than half the children across the UK were not being carried in cars properly.

The Seatbelt Sheriff will appear on a series of height charts and posters which have been sent out to more than 250 GP surgeries, dental practices and children’s centres. The charts give details of the kind of seats that should be used to carry infants and children.

Car seat clinics have also been carried out by road safety staff from North Yorkshire County Council and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue officers.

The Seatbelt Sheriff has also been working in schools alongside junior road safety officers to encourage children to wear their seat belts and use car seats - but also to pester adults to buckle up. More than 5,300 children have been sworn in as deputies.

David Bowe, corporate director for business and environmental services, said: “Parents will visit the waiting rooms of doctors and dentists and go to children’s centres and if this information is on display it will reinforce the importance of using the right seat.”

Gareth Dadd, executive member for road safety, said: “There has been concern that parents are confused about what seats their children should be using at what age and weight, and that many people feel retailers who sell seats are not always giving out unbiased advice. The information we’re sending out will hopefully help.”

For more information contact Janet Gleeson, 95 Alive Campaign Coordinator, on 01609 798304.

Comments

Comment on this story
Report a reader comment

What's your view - comment on this story:

I confirm that I have read and accept the moderation policy and house rules relating to comments posted on this website.
Your comment:
Your name and location:
Your email:

Sardonic humour on a Monday morning, I love it. Where would we be without the Derek Reynolds of the world?
Roy Buchanan, Sutton

Agree (0) | Disagree (0)
0

How the government minions squabble over the spoils!

This visual appears to be aimed at children. Is this not a case of getting minors to squeal on adults? 'Which' Magazine will doubtless have a comprehensive analysis, as will several other motoring organisations. The choice will then be down to the parent. Government interference is not required. This smacks of two people with hi-viz, hard hats, and a step ladder employed to change a light bulb in a table lamp.
Derek Reynolds, Herts.

Agree (0) | Disagree (0)
0

No offence was intended - I was merely being robust. A legal opinion is exactly that, an opinion. Clearly the opinion expressed by your legal officers is different to that offered by our legal officers. If you are happy with your lawyers advice and I with mine, let's agree to differ.
Honor Byford, North Yorkshire

Agree (0) | Disagree (0)
0

Honor,
Please may I try to be short-winded for once and say I disagree with your entire response, particularly the comment referring to "pseudo-legal scaremongerers....stopping us doing our jobs." A little too rhetorical in this case. Here, the issue was put to the Council's solicitors, legally qualified people. Please let me assume you, like me, are not qualified in law. No one is trying to stop you doing your job, the seminal point is that this activity is not your job. I am sorry if this was not made clear in the first instance. I hope you will understand if I do not take your advice to challenge a legal advocate on a point of law.
Roy Buchanan, Sutton

Agree (0) | Disagree (0)
0

Fortunately there are ways around the dead hand of liability culture. Not least that the counter to the "don't do it just in case" argument is that we have a statutory duty to provide a Road Safety ETP service. The correct fitting of car seats is one important aspect of this service for us and were we to withdraw the service, we would need to demonstrate on what grounds we would not do it. This argument is not a sound reason in my view, it's an excuse.
In this case we do check the fitting of the car seat, we then advise the parent/driver who refits the seat themselves. If we consider it to be unfit through poor condition or unsuitable for the vehicle, we advise accordingly. We keep records of these checks for future reference. Our training is updated at least annually by an independent consultant rather than any one manufacturer, and he also offers a source of technical advice should we need it. We have a minimum practice requirement for ourselves and partner agencies to ensure that they are in practice on a regular basis.
We do not allow the pseudo-legal or pseudo-H&S type scaremongering to stop us from doing our jobs. Legislation, especially Health & Safety legislation, has a very important role to play and we fully support and abide by it. But it is not intended to disable normal, sensible activity and we do not allow it to do so. It isn't the legislation that is at fault, rather overly-cautious, ultra defensive mis-interpretation that causes the problems and brings a very important area of work and laws into disrepute.
Come on Roy, get back to your legal department and challenge their opinion.
Honor Byford, North Yorkshire

Agree (0) | Disagree (0)
0

As a devotee of westerns, I love the Sheriff and his Deputees analogy - I am more of a high-plains drifter, a man with no name on a motorbike. My impression is that this is a good initiative and, if it produces the desired result, sounds like a candidate for an award.

However, a word of warning. We used to run car seat clinics until our legal department made us aware of the Council's liability. In our blame-culture society, a tragic outcome in an accident involving a child in a child seat checked by the Council would rebound to the authority. I did a course at Britax that only allowed me to advise on their products. There are many manufacturers offering an extensive range of child seats. An RSO or fire-fighter cannot be an expert on the choice and correct fitting of all of them. Local authorities must not do the retailers job. It is their responsibility to have the specific knowledge of their products and their fitment. We would not tolerate motorists attending the Town Hall to get the RSO to check if their new tyres have the correct speed and use rating. On that basis, why do we do it with child seats?

As a road safety publicity campaign, I wish the Sheriff sharp-shooting and long may his star shine.
Roy Buchanan, Sutton

Agree (0) | Disagree (0)
0