A partnership comprising Good Egg Safety and TRL has produced free information for parents and road safety professionals to help explain the new i-Size safety regulations for child car seats which came into force on 9 July.
i-Size is designed to improve the safety of children by keeping them facing rearwards for longer. i-Size grades seats based on a child’s height and weight and is designed to be more accurate than the previous system.
All new vehicles will have ‘i-Size-ready’ seating positions which means that any i-Size child seat will fit into any i-Size position in a car, regardless of make or design. A vehicle fitting list (showing which vehicles a child seat will fit) will no longer be required except for seats being used in pre-July 2013 vehicles.
Hamish McPhillips, Child Safety Centre – business development manager at TRL, said: “The current child car seat regulation has been in place since the early 80s, but since this time the cars we drive have changed radically. We also have a better understanding of what actually happens during an accident. The new regulation takes this into account and is designed to make child car seats safer, as well as easier to buy, fit and use.
“Another significant change is that all child seats must now be tested to ensure that a child remains secure in their seat in the event of a side impact.
“Side impact collisions account for around 25% of road accidents in Europe. Despite this, the current regulation takes no account of side impact protection. All child safety seats will also be limited to total combined weight of 33kg, to include the seat and occupant, and all child safety seats designed for children younger than 15 months must now be rear facing.
Known as Regulation 129 (Reg. 129), the new regulation will eventually replace the current regulation (Reg. 44), which is to be slowly phased out. The new regulation will initially only be applicable to ISOFIX child restraints with an internal harness. However, it will eventually apply to all child safety seats.
Good Egg Safety has produced an i-Size briefing card for road safety professionals and leaflet for parents which can be downloaded for free from the Good Egg Safety website. RSOs in Scotland can download the resources here. RSOs in England and Wales can download the resources here. Road safety teams can also request a quantity of 50 copies of the parents’ leaflet free of charge from the same links.