The law has now changed dramatically concerning buying and using child car seats. This has left many parents a little confused, as questions have been raised as to what car seat is suitable for a child? Below we explain some of the new car seat laws, and what this means in terms of buying a car seat for a child.
The backless booster seats
Younger children are no longer allowed to use backless booster seats, this type of seat is only to be used by older children. Children who weigh less than 22kg or who are shorter than 125cm, are no longer permitted to use the backless booster. New booster seats of this nature will no longer be made by car seat manufacturers, as all seats will now feature backs and sides.
Children 12 years and under
Any child who is aged 12 or under, and who is no taller than 135 cm, must travel in a car seat. Failure to do so will result in a heavy fine for the driver of the vehicle. It is also vital that the car seat conforms to EU standards and is fitted correctly. If a child is older than 12 but under 135, then they must still use a car seat.
Babies under 15 months
Babies who weigh less than 9KG should always be placed in a baby carrier, NOT, a car seat. Babies who are younger than 15 months must be placed in a rear facing car seat. Older babies are allowed to ride in a forward-facing car seat. Generally, the baby’s head should be no higher than the top of the seat. Once the head reaches this level, it is time to buy the next sized car seat.
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Car seat safety
It is very important that you only buy car seats that have the ‘EU’ stamp of approval. You will know that the car seat has been EU approved, because it will have a distinctive orange label with the ‘E’ clearly shown. It should also show the code: R129. Always check that your chosen car seat is EU approved. Failure to do so can result in a fine.
When traveling by taxi
Many individuals worry about travelling by taxi, do you need a child car seat? Well, the law stipulates that if the child is over 3 years, then they can travel a short distance without a child car seat, but must wear a seat belt. They must also sit in the rear of the vehicle, never in the front. The same rules apply for a child who needs to travel for emergency purposes, or a short journey or in a van.
When searching the motor trade for a new and used car suitable for the whole family, always ensure that you take out the right insurance policy, the car may be fitted with trade plates if you test drive it with a motor dealer, and your able to fit the correct car seat for your child.