Big fall in child injuries following new car seat laws


The number of children under 12 injured in car accidents in Great Britain fell by more than 1,000 in the first full year since the introduction of the new car seat law, according to figures recently released.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) in the UK welcomed the news as proof that the legislation was working and helping to reduce pain and suffering for children and their families.

New legislation was introduced in September 2006 making it compulsory for children under 12 and below 4ft 5in (1.35m) tall to use child car seats or booster seats.

In 2005, the last year before the law came in 7,033, children under 12 were injured as passengers in cars, and 326 of them were killed or seriously injured. Last year the number hurt had fallen to 5,927, with 271 killed or seriously injured.

Kevin Clinton, RoSPA Head of Road Safety, said: "This is more good news following the announcement in the summer that road deaths in Britain were down to 2,946 – the first time they have fallen below 3,000 since records began 80 years ago. It shows that child car seats work and when children are using the correct restraint for their size they have a better chance of surviving an accident. The latest report from the Department for Transport also shows that the provisional figure for drink-drive deaths is down from 560 in 2006 to 460 last year. But we would see even more improvement if the drink-drive limit was reduced."

"We must not be complacent. The report underlines that driver error is still the major problem where road accidents are concerned. Four of the five most frequently reported contributory factors involved driver error or reaction, with failing to look properly, the most frequently reported contributory factor, being recorded in 35% of accidents. Loss of control was involved in a third of fatal accidents."

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