Setting the standard for child car seats

Date: May 27, 2015

Minimising the likelihood of car accident injuries is essential for adults and youngsters alike, which is why efforts are being made to improve in-car safety for small children.

Parliamentary Secretary for Roads and Member for Drummoyne John Sidoti officially launched the latest car seat safety ratings, which relate to six new models on the market.

"Kids are counting on parents and carers when it comes to road safety; children incorrectly secured in car seats are seven times more likely to receive life threatening injuries during a crash than those correctly secured," said Mr Sidoti.

A new standard for child car restraints was introduced in February 2010. This brought into force a new type of booster seat, capable of carrying children up to 138cm. Other changes included amendments to how car seats are categorised, which uses height and approximate age ranges as opposed to weight.

Kidsafe NSW advises that any booster cushion that still has the Australian Standards approval sticker from 1995 or afterwards is legal for use. However, parents are advised to use a seat with a high back and sides because they provide better support.

The NSW government has introduced a number of incentives to better protect children of different ages while travelling on roads throughout the state. Parents or carers are recommended to choose products with the highest safety rating whenever they buy new car restraints.

Products that are easy to use are also preferable, not least because parents have greater confidence fitting them in their vehicles. There are some dedicated fitting services available for anyone who does not feel comfortable installing a seat in their own car.

Drivers throughout NSW were recently advised to make sure they keep an eye out for children crossing the road as youngsters throughout the state returned to school. They are advised to slow down to 40km per hour between the house of 08:00 and 09:30, as well as from 14:30 to 16:00.

"We know a vehicle that hits a pedestrian at 50km/h is twice as likely to cause a fatality as the same vehicle travelling at 40km/h, which is why school zone speed limits are so important," noted Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay.

The government is also on track to install flashing lights outside each school in the state to alert motorists to the presence of children on or near the road.

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