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Council and police offer free child car seat safety checks

This news article was published more than a year ago. Some of the information may no longer be accurate.

Published: 01/07/2014

Officers from South Gloucestershire Council’s road safety team and Avon and Somerset Police are joining forces to carry out child car seat safety checks at Yate Fire Station on Wednesday 9 July.

Between 8.30am and 4pm, police officers will stop vehicles carrying young people to allow our road safety team to check if child car seats are fitted correctly. We are offering these free checks to give reassurance to parents that their children are safe and secure when travelling by car.

Young passengers will also be measured to ensure they are the correct height to safely use seatbelts. The legal requirement is 135cm unless they are sitting on a booster seat.

Previous safety checks carried out in South Gloucestershire have shown that around two thirds of all child car seats are fitted incorrectly. A total of 115 child car seats were checked at a similar event in Kingswood in June and of those we found 15 with major faults and 35 with minor faults.

Major faults included seats belts requiring re-routing and many of the minor faults were with harnesses that needed adjusting, headrests that had to be removed and twists in the seatbelts.

In addition, seven seats were discovered to be incompatible with the vehicle. 14 children had no seat or any type of restraint and were under the legal limit of 135cm. Drivers with no child car seat were cautioned and had to ask a family member to bring a seat to the location by a friend or face a fine of up to £100.

South Gloucestershire Council road safety officer Pamela Williams said: “Any parents, grandparents, childminders or carers who would like to have their child car seat checked voluntarily are welcome to stop by Yate Fire Station, Station Road, Yate, BS37 4AL between 8.30am and 4pm on Wednesday 9 July.

“It’s important to check the seat is correctly fitted because in the event of a collision a loose harness could cause a child to be ejected from the child seat which could be fatal. Other minor adjustments we can carry out include removing headrests because sometimes they can get in the way of car seats being securely fitted in a vehicle. We can also adjust any twists in seatbelts which can mean they are less effective in protecting your child in a collision.”

South Gloucestershire Police Neighbourhoods Inspector Bob Evely said: “Having the right child car seat, properly fitted, is really important to keep children safe. We have found that 2 out of 3 children were not seated safely, so it’s really worth your time to come along and get yours checked over.

“Our neighbourhood teams are happy to work alongside the council at these checks to help to improve safety for all road users.”

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