Parents ‘baffled’ by car seat laws – Confused.com

11.02 | 5 June | | | 2 comments

A new survey suggests that nearly 90% of parents are ‘perplexed’ by the law around backless booster seats, more than a year after it was updated.

Legislation introduced in February 2017 means that manufacturers are no longer permitted to develop new models of backless booster seats for children shorter than 125cm or weighing less than 22kg.

The rules do not affect existing booster seats and cushions, and do not mean that existing seats and cushions are ‘unsafe or illegal’.

According to a survey by Confused.com, the comparison site for drivers, 88% of parents are ‘perplexed’ by the law.

18% of respondents with children under the age of 12 years admitted they ‘never or rarely’ use a car seat for their child – with 28% confessing to driving while their child was not in a suitable car seat.

42% of those surveyed who have been in a collision while their child was in the vehicle admitted that their children were either not in a car seat or wearing a seatbelt at the time.

Confused.com says it is ‘concerning (that) parents are seemingly flouting the rules due to the complexity of the law’.

In an effort to bring clarity to the issue, Confused.com has created a child car seat calculator to help parents identify which car seat group their child belongs to, based on their age and weight.

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, says: “The car seat regulations introduced in February 2017 are still causing confusion among parents.

“Crash impact films show what a difference having the correct car seat can make to your child’s protection. And while the rules might be confusing, they are in place to make sure children are as safe as possible.

“Mums and dads who do not comply with the law risk fines of up to £500.”


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    There is also the problem of parents not knowing where to go to get the most up to date information to start with. Most parents I speak to do not realise that it’s the law that children need a car seat until 12 year of age or 135 cm tall, along with which car seats each age group should use, and the benefits of extended rear facing seats. Bring back public education films perhaps? Road safety officer numbers are falling, and it’s getting harder to keep people educated in this important area.


    Elaine Keeler, London
    Agree (3) | Disagree (0)
    +3

    Parental confusion regarding child seat law comes as little surprise and we commend Confused.com for raising awareness of this.

    Several experts who are members of our National Joint Industry Group are also ‘perplexed’; not least because of the length of time it’s taking to phase out R44/04.

    Having two sets of legislation running concurrently with different rules dependent upon which legislation the child seat comes under, IS highly confusing.

    In an iSize seat, babies must legally rear-face to 15 months; yet can forward face at around 9 months (9-18kg) in one covered by R44/04.

    As Confused.com correctly reports, the booster seat legislation, which was amended last February, asserts that manufacturers can’t make new manufacture booster cushions for children of 15kg weight (2.5 stone). Any new booster seat models must be for 22kg weight (3.5 stone) and 125 cm (4ft 1). Yet, this doesn’t prohibit retailers from selling old stock.

    This doesn’t really make sense (unless it’s based on a financially driven equation which puts profit ahead of child protection).

    The reason it was introduced is because younger children NEED much greater neck, back and hip protection than is offered by booster cushions. It may still be ‘legal’ however it is far safer to follow the new guidelines and wait until they are older. High-backed booster seats as opposed to cushions are also much safer options.

    As parents, grandparents and carers we deserve clear simple advice and far less ambiguity; the safety of our babies and children depends upon it. We also need to take full responsibility to ensure we understand the law and best practice measures.

    If you’d like more information on any of the above, please visit http://www.goodeggcarsafety.com.


    Jan James CEO Good Egg Safety, London
    Agree (6) | Disagree (0)
    +6