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Police and council offer 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: 19/06/2015

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 Kingswood Fire Station on Tuesday 23 June.

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. Young people travelling as 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.

We are offering these free checks to give reassurance to parents that their children are safe and secure when travelling by car.

Previous safety checks carried out across the West of England have shown that over half of all child car seats are fitted incorrectly. A total of 1621 child car seats were checked during 2014 and of those we found only 758 were fitted correctly. 367 children’s car seats were found with major faults and 463 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, 111 children were found to be tall enough not to be in a seat and 99 children had no seats or any type of restraint and were under the legal limit of 135cm.

Drivers with no seats were given advice and had to have seats brought to the location by a friend or family member or face £100 fine.

Road safety officer Pamela Williams said: “Every car seat safety check day we carry out confirms how necessary these events are, as large numbers of drivers we talk to are unsure of the correct fitting for their seat. They often have lots of questions to ask our experts and are always very appreciative of the help and advice given.

“Many of the major faults found were due to seats belts requiring re-routing. This means that the seat has been fitted wrongly and the manufacturer’s instructions have not been followed. Minor faults included internal harnesses that were very loose requiring adjustment. In the event of a collision a loose harness could cause a child to be ejected from their child seat, so whilst it is classed as a minor fault this could be fatal in the event of a collision. Other minor adjustments include removal of headrests, these sometimes tend to get in the way of car seats being securely fitted into a vehicle, and twists in seatbelts, which can mean they are less effective in a collision.”

Any parents, grandparents, childminders or carers who would like to have their child car seat checked voluntarily are welcome to stop by Kingswood Fire Station, Tenniscourt Road, Kingswood BS15 4LB between 8.30am and 4pm on Tuesday 23 June.


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