New car restraint laws aim to reduce child casualties on local roads

Legislation comes into force on Monday 18th September

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Full details of the new legalisation can be found here.

New child car restraint laws which could reduce the number of child casualties on local roads will come into force on 18th September. 

From this date, parents and carers will have to make sure that, with very few exceptions, children up to 4' 5" (135cm) in height use the relevant child car seats or boosters in cars, vans and other goods vehicles.

Car SeatRoad Safety Manager Liz Knight said “In a collision, seatbelts are designed to spread the forces of the crash over the strongest parts of an adult’s body, without causing major damage to the soft tissue. Seatbelts are designed for adults, not children, who are differently shaped. If the seatbelt is too high across the stomach, then in a crash, serious internal injury could result.

"Most people make sure that children use some kind of restraint but it is important to use the right one for the size of the child and to take the time to fit it properly and not to use an adult belt before the child is big enough."

Chief Inspector Mike Harper from the Metropolitan Police said "The new seat belt legislation comes into force on the 18 September, and clearly defines the requirements in relation to the use of seat belt and booster seats when children are aged under three years old.

“Police are working closely with local authorities and other partners, in helping those who may be affected by the new changes. This legislation will help to improve our efforts to reduce the numbers of deaths and serious injuries on the roads"

The changes mean that all children under 3 years old must use the correct child seat when travelling in any car or goods vehicle (except in the rear of a taxi if a child seat is not available).  Children aged between 3 and 12 must use the correct child seat/booster cushion when travelling in cars or goods vehicles until they reach about 4' 5" (135cms). Taller children and all those aged 12 and over need to use adult belts. 

September 12, 2006