We are urging drivers using backless boosters for children shorter than 125cm or weighing less than 22k to change the seats in the wake of a recent rule which bans their production.
Simon Hill, Director, said that the use of the backless models is not against the law and the products are still available to buy. But he stressed that parents should switch to high backed boosters as soon as possible following research which found they were likely to offer greater protection in a collision. The height and weight stipulated represent the average size of a seven-year-old.
Under the recently introduced legislation, the affected backless models will eventually disappear from sale as they can no longer be manufactured. Simon said: “Although the new rule does not affect backless booster seats which are currently in use or still in stock, we would urge parents to change to a high backed version. “We would also remind motorists to be fully aware of their responsibilities and ensure that any child seats or restraints are fitted appropriately for the age and size of children they are carrying.”
Drivers are legally responsible for ensuring children in their vehicles are seated correctly. Simon said children under three must use the appropriate child restraints for their weight in any vehicle – and that includes vans and other goods vehicles. The only exception is in the rear seat of a taxi, where, if the correct restraint is not available the child can travel unrestrained.
Simon also reminded drivers that it is illegal to use a rear-facing baby seat on the front seat unless the front passenger airbag is deactivated. Babies or children should never be carried on the lap of a passenger or driver. He stressed that if a child is not wearing the appropriate restraint, the penalty is a “£100 fixed notice and if the case goes to court the maximum fine is £500.” Children aged three years and over, to either 135cm or 12 years, must use proper child restraints where seat belts are fitted. The only exceptions allowing children to travel in the rear and to use an adult belt are: in a taxi if the correct child restraint is not available; for a short distance in an unexpected necessity, if the correct restraint is not fitted; where two occupied child seats in the rear prevents the fitting of a third. Children over 12, or more than 135cm tall, must wear a seat belt.
For more on the law relating to child car seats go to the Government website:www.gov.uk/child-car-seats-the-rules/
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