30/04/2002

Survey shows nine in ten child seats not fitted properly

A new independent survey has shown that around nine out of ten child car seats are incorrectly fitted.

The statistics were highlighted by NI Environment Minister Dermot Nesbitt who announced that DOE’s Road Safety Education Officers are to offer free advice and practical instruction on the fitting of child seat restraints to nursery schools and clinics across the province.

Mr Nesbitt said: “This is a very positive and potentially life saving service being offered by DOE’s Road Safety Education Officers. A poorly fitted or adjusted seat restraint increases the risk of a child being killed or seriously injured. If properly fitted they can reduce the likelihood of death in a car crash by up to 75 per cent.

“I would, therefore, encourage parents with concerns about seat restraints to contact their local Road Safety Education Officer who would be happy to give advice or practical demonstrations. Further, I would urge all parents to ensure that their children are properly secured at all times, in a restraint suitable for the child’s age, height and weight.”

Road Safety Education Officers will be available to give demonstrations to groups at a number of outlets including nursery schools and clinics.

Parents wishing to find out more should contact their local education and library board.

Articles 23 and 24 of the Road Traffic (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 set out the main legal requirements for wearing seatbelts in cars.

Essentially, all car occupants must wear seatbelts, or in the case of younger children, be correctly restrained using a child seat appropriate to their size and weight. It is illegal for any child to use the front seat unless an appropriate child restraint is worn.

(AMcE)

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