Enforcement days added to car seat checking programme in Scotland

08.02 | 11 July 2019 | | | 2 comments


Police in Scotland are teaming up with child car seat experts to carry out random checks on cars carrying children.

Good Egg Safety, with support from Police Scotland and Road Safety Scotland, is staging 10 enforcement days – to check the suitability of child car seats and/or restraints being used.

However, no tickets will be issued by the police for non-compliance.

The enforcement days are in addition to the 46 free child car seat community events taking place between March and September at high footfall venues across Scotland.

The Good Egg team uses these events to provide free child seat checks and fitting guidance, and distribute the Good Egg Car Safety Guide and supporting materials to families.

Jan James, CEO of Good Egg Safety, said: “Whenever we partner with the police on mandatory checks, we sadly almost always find a much higher incorrect fitment rate than our standard checks.

“This is because those parents who voluntarily attend are already concerned with child seat safety and are proactively seeking guidance and reassurance. 

“The families we often meet at police checks are not as focused on safety and the results evidence that. These much-needed enforcement days will run until September and are designed to offer advice and support to parents, grandparents and carers who drive with children.”

Michael McDonnell, director of Road Safety Scotland, said: “Having children in correctly-fitted and appropriate car seats from the very beginning is so important.

“Not only in keeping them safe in the present, but it plays a vital role in creating future generations of vehicle occupants who are used to being restrained for safety while travelling.”

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    I wonder if carrying a child in a car, correctly seated, in a correctly fitted, approved child car seat, with an approving nod from the relevant authorities, leads the drivers into a false sense of security and induces a state of complacency and less than vigilant attitude in their driving?


    Hugh Jones
    Agree (1) | Disagree (0)
    +1

    As a serving police officer (Road Safety Officer) I always take an interest in articles addressing Child Car Seat safety.

    It’s encouraging to see other area now adopting the multi agency approach towards child car seat concerns. Within the Avon & Somerset Constabulary area we have been running enforcement events since 2013. I work with 5 local Authorities and year on year we deliver more and more of this style check, in addition to the drop in style clinics etc.

    This kind of approach is really effective especially when used as part of a problem solving strategy.

    It always concerns me when I read statement saying no tickets will be issues, prior to establishing the safety issues, causation factors and possible resolutions. Only last week we were stopping vehicle carrying numerous unsecured children where the vehicles also had other offenses, including multiple illegal tyres. The drivers clearly knew their actions were illegal and have been driving like this, putting children at risk for some time.

    Experience has shown me that enforcement events are a fantastic addition to addressing these concerns, but can fall short of addressing some attitudes and behavior where the outcomes are not part of a legal framework. Our intention is for every vehicle that leaves the check site to be safer than when it arrived, with all children safely transported and seats correctly fitted. Most of the minor issues will be resolved without police intervention, but others require police resolutions. Coping strategy are always offered to the drivers to reduce the risk of future issues.

    I’m very fortunate to work with some dedicated Road Safety Officers from the Local Authorities and Child Car Seat Experts, who not only are advisers for RSGB, but also run the IOSH accredited car seat fitting course. This allows us the ability to target the route of the issues as well as influence those that transport children.

    Raising understanding is crucial and last year we launched CarSeatSmarter.co.uk to help achieve this. Car Seat Smarter is a video based eLearning package, complimented by a 16 page magazine and promotional material. The package is FREE for anyone regardless of where they live and takes about 20 mins to complete. It is used as a proactive and reactive resource.

    The benefits associated with using education packages as a disposal tool is it reinforces learning and offers copping strategies.

    I’m more than willing to discuss our work and how other Authorities can access Car Seat Smarter if they are interested.

    It’s great to see this work spreading as it makes children transport safer. I’d love to see this work more joined up across the country and happy to advise and be part of that.


    Dave Adams Avon & Somerset Police, Somerset
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    +5