Thousands seeking information on new child seats law in UK


Thousands of parents have contacted the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) for information on the new child car seat law which came into force on 18 September in the UK.

Kevin Clinton, RoSPA Head of Road Safety, said: "The interest has been phenomenal. It does show that people are aware that changes are on the way and they need to be prepared for them." The law makes it compulsory for children to use child car seats or booster seats. In the past, most children in cars have only had to be in an appropriate child restraint 'if available'. That loophole disappeared on September 18 meaning children under 12 will no longer be able to wear an ordinary seatbelt (with very few exceptions) in a car until they are over 4ft 5in (1.35m).

The Government estimates that if people comply with the changes, the legislation could save about 2,000 injuries a year among children on Britain's roads. Those who ignore the law face a £30 fixed penalty notice or £500 fine if the case goes to court.

"But it shouldn't take the threat of punishment to ensure children are as safe as possible in cars," Kevin Clinton said. "Adult seatbelts are designed for adults and not children and will not offer the same protection as a child car seat or booster seat or cushion. Parents should see this as a piece of positive legislation designed to reduce the likelihood or severity of injuries in a crash."

Also on September 18, new regulations were introduced requiring coach, bus and minibus passengers over 13-years-old to wear seatbelts where fitted.

For more information see RoSPA's special website:

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