UN confirms new booster seat rules apply to the UK

12.00 | 23 February 2017 | | 4 comments

The DfT confirmed on 22 February that it has been notified by the UN that new rules for manufacturers of backless booster seats apply from 9 Feb 2017.

The new rules mean that manufacturers are no longer permitted to introduce new models of backless booster seats for children shorter than 125cm or weighing less than 22kg.

Earlier this month, the DfT moved to clarify the new legislation, confirming that the new rules do not affect existing booster seats and cushions, and that the new law doesn’t mean that existing seats and cushions are ‘unsafe or illegal’.

However, the DfT release did say that the change to the technical standards means that going forward the range of products available on the market will be better suited for younger children.

Existing UK law states that all children travelling in a car must use the correct car seat until they reach 12 years of age or 135cm in height. In some European countries the height limit is 150cm.

This means that, despite a number of child car seat experts raising concerns over the issue, children weighing as little as 15kg – that’s around three years old – can travel in a backless booster seat.

The Government is encouraging parents to make sure they know the rules for using child car seats. Road Safety GB specialists with regard to child car seats are available to provide advice – their contact details can be found here.

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02 February 2017



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    OK I’ve read it properly (I think) now. It is a pretty pathetic change.

    Jon in Bristol
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    About time! 15KG is far too small for a booster cushion. It is a shame we don’t change the 1.35M to 1.50M while we’re at it. I don’t quite understand how it takes the DFT 2 weeks to confirm the change either?

    Road Safety GB: Is it possible that stories like this can spend a little longer on the main page instead of being hidden away in the archive after a week? I somehow missed this and it is something I need to know.

    Jon in Bristol
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    The change in legislation is a welcome thing in my mind even though there has been some initial confusion amongst parents and carers as to what the regulation changes mean for them and whether existing seats would become illegal. Also, the fact that there was widespread reporting that the legislation change would be from 1st March, not 9th Feb as we now know!

    Anyway, it’s all progress and I’m pleased that research into ‘in car safety’ continues leading to developments in this area.

    Becky Leeds
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    Most experts would agree that booster cushions are not as safe as booster seats. The Govt. needs to work hard to get that over to the public. As I understand it, the only reason why booster cushions were not done away with was that ‘they are better than nothing’. We used to have lap belts in the rear of some cars, because they were better than nothing, but we now have three point harnesses. I think that the makers of booster cushions should stop making them, thereby giving the public no choice in the matter.

    David, Suffolk
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