Parents with young children may now be aware that new regulations are being put into place soon regarding child car seats. This follows new research which casts doubt over the safety of the backless seats we regularly use. This week, we’ll be looking through the new child car seat laws, breaking them down for you and advising you on anything you need to do to prepare for the new laws.
What are the current child car seat laws?
Currently, the child car seat laws in the UK are as follows:
- You must use a child car seat until your child is 12 years old or 135cm tall, whichever comes first.
- Children weighing under 15kg must use high-backed car seats, children above 15kg can use a booster seat if desired.
- Children under 3 must be in a child car seat at all times. If there is no room in the back, they are permitted to be in the front seat as long as they are in an appropriate child car seat.
- The only exception to the under 3’s rule is if the journey is in a taxi where the rear seats are separated from the driver by a fixed partition and the child is on the rear seats.
- A fine of £500 is the punishment for ignoring the law.
Experts also recommend that you should continue using child car seats until your children are at least 150cm/4’11” tall. In some countries, including: Ireland, Germany and France this is the law so if you’re driving on holiday make sure you’re aware of local laws.
What are the new child car seat laws?
Recent research performed by experts in child car safety has resulted in the current rules being changed. The research showed that backless car seats provided no protection for children in the result of a side impact collision and that small children are not held as securely in the seat as required.
Following research, new laws have been implemented in which backless booster seats are only approved for children taller than 125cm and weighing more than 22kg. This has been designed to maximise the safety of your children in the event of an accident.
The new rules are set to be implemented in December 2016, after which time all manufactured car seats will need to comply with these regulations.
Do I need to buy a new car seat?
If you are currently using a car seat which doesn’t meet these regulations, you will not be punished and can continue using it as normal. The new rules will only apply to new products coming onto the market, as such, existing backless booster seats can still be used without parents breaking any rules.