With worrying 87 per cent of parents confused about coming child seat regulation changes, we offer belting advice on what safety shake-up means to you.
Timely tips (here accompanied by explanatory video and poll) come with Freedom of Information revelation more than 4,600 UK drivers didn't adhere to child seatbelt safety laws in 2015 with over 19,000 offences recorded between 2013 and 2015 - 368 of them across South Yorkshire.
Data requested by motoring experts Confused.com reveals more than half (56%) of parents are unaware of March's delayed new booster seat regulations.
Under new rules backless booster seats - also known as booster cushions - will only be approved for use for children taller than 125cm and weighing more than 22kg (3st 6.5lbs). To make it even more complicated, backless booster seats bought before the law changes can still be used after the regulation change as it will only apply to new products appearing on the market. Perplexed? Well you are not alone.
Research into parents’ knowledge and attitudes towards booster seats and seat belts reveals over a third (34%) of parents admit to occasionally not using a booster seat for their child. Excuses from parents include not transferring the booster seat when switching to another car (33%), believing their child did not need one (26%) and believing it was not needed as they were just making a short trip (25%).
Even for parents who use a booster seat, the law can be contentious, as debates(3) are raging on social media over what is considered to be safe. Whereas nearly half (46%) believe booster seats with backs are safer, one in six (16%) believe backless booster seats offer the same level of protection. Research also suggested a cynical, 30% of parents believe increased booster regulations are a result of lobbying by profit driven car seat manufacturers.
Two thirds (66%) of parents do not fully understand the current booster seat height, age and weight regulations
Over half (56%) admit they are unaware of new laws about backless booster seats coming into force early next year – and only 13% actually know what they are
Over a third (34%) of parents admit to occasionally not using a booster seat for their child
Almost a third of parents (30%) are cynical of the new law as they believe increased booster regulations are a result of lobbying by profit driven car seat manufacturers
Confused.com’s motoring editor Amanda Stretton said: “Regulations are understandably hard to understand and new changes make it even trickier for parents to keep their children safe. The fact car seats bought before the law change will still be acceptable to use sends mixed messages. The government needs to simplify the messaging around backless car seat use so there is no misunderstanding over what is and is not safe.
“Parents must also be aware of the potential cost consequences of having an accident with their child in the car. Nearly half (44%) do not replace their child’s car seat after a crash. However, parents should always replace booster seats after an accident, even if there is no obvious damage, as they may become weakened and unable to provide the same level of protection should a second collision occur.
"Regulatory approved car seats can cost in the region of £80 to £350(4). If parents are caught travelling with their child in the car without the correct booster for their age, height and weight, they could face a £100 fine".
For more information on new booster requirements and how to comply with the law visit Confused.com and http://www.maxi-cosi.com/car-seats/car-seat-safety/car-seat-laws-and-regulations/carseat-legislation-2017.aspx sites.