Free child car seat safety checks on offer after police find risks are rife - The Rugby Observer
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18th Aug, 2022

Free child car seat safety checks on offer after police find risks are rife

ROAD safety experts are offering free child car seat safety checks in Rugby next week, after Warwickshire Police found over two-thirds pose potentially fatal risks by being fitted incorrectly.

Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership (WRSP) will conduct the checks at Elliots Field Shopping Park in Leicester Road on Friday June 17 from 9am-4pm.

Checks conducted by Warwickshire Police in November 2021 found 69 per cent of child car seats were not correctly fitted. The most common issues were related to headrests, seat belt twists, the front seat being too close to a rear-facing child seat, the isofix not being installed correctly, and coats being worn in vehicles.

WRSP said most families were shocked to discover they had inadvertently put their child at risk by not seating them correctly.

A spokesperson said: “We are encouraging those responsible for safely transporting children and young people to come along and get their child car seat checked, and to speak to someone who is trained to nationally-accredited standards who can help you get it right.”

The law states a child must be in a child car seat until they are 12 years old or 135cm tall – whichever comes first. During the event, staff will use car seat demonstrators, height charts and educational leaflets to explain the fitting.

PCSO Joanne Jackson said: “It is important that parents get the right independent advice to ensure that their children are well protected and in turn reduce the risk of children being injured or killed

“Elliots Field in Rugby is a really accessible location not far from the M6 and we hope that this will encourage people from other areas to make the most of the opportunity to get their child car seats checked.”

Coun Wallace Redford, Warwickshire County Council’s spokesman for Transport and Highways, said: “Our Road Safety Education Team works closely with children in schools across Warwickshire to help improve their safety on the roads. We can also help protect children by providing targeted education, information and advice to parents and carers and ensuring child car seats are correctly fitted and appropriate for the height and weight of the child.”

Chair of WRSP and Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire Phillip Seccombe said: “Children and young people are more vulnerable in a collision than adults, and that’s why we are offering independent advice to ensure children are well protected and in turn this can reduce the risk of injury and death.

“This is part of our Strategy to 2030 that sets out how we – with your help – plan to reach our target of a 50 per cent reduction in those killed or seriously injured on our roads by 2030.”

The event is taking place during the NPCC national seatbelts campaign, which aims to encourage all drivers to ensure they and their passengers travel safely.

The Child Car Seat Checks initiative was funded by Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner’s Road Safety Fund in 2019, when 15 Warwickshire Police staff were trained to nationally-accredited standards to help improve child car seat safety.

Important things to remember when choosing your child’s car seat

  • All children must use a suitable restraint for their age, weight or height
  • It is safer to transport children in the rear of the car with the correct seat. If you have to use the front passenger seat, the airbag MUST be deactivated if using a rear facing seat.
  • Children must use the correct car seat for their height or weight until they reach 135cm tall or their 12th birthday
  • Ensure that the seat has an official standard mark (ECE) R44.04 or R129
  • Brake (the road safety charity) and other experts strongly advise parents to go one step beyond this and ensure all children under 150cm tall are always in a proper child restraint, because adult belts are not sufficient in protecting children under this height.

Visit www.childseatsafety.co.uk and www.childcarseats.org.uk/choosing-using for more advice about buying a car seat.

Visit www.gov.uk/child-car-seats-the-rules for more information on the law and child car seats.

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