Friday, September 15, 2006

Vehicle Child Restraint - New Law


The new law regarding regulations governing the use of child car seats will come into force on Monday 18 September 2006 with many people still completely unaware of this change. There has been a clear lack of publicity on this matter so for clarity sake the new law can be found at:

http://www.thinkroadsafety.gov.uk
[Superseded link http://www.thinkroadsafety.gov.uk/campaigns/childcarseats/childcarseats.htm replaced 2011-10-11 - FHL]

The main reason for this change is clearly illustrated as:

"When a vehicle is involved in a crash it comes to an abrupt halt. If not restrained, occupants will have their own crash into the vehicle structure. Restraint systems are therefore designed to help keep people away from the vehicle structure and to distribute the forces of a crash over the strongest parts of the human body, with minimum damage to the soft tissues."

"Adults are restrained by a three point seat belt. This is designed for adults and not for children. Children are not small adults. They are proportioned differently and their key organs are in different places. Their tissues have different strengths and weaknesses and their needs change as they grow. Therefore they need a child restraint system to cope with the different stages of their development."

However, what strikes me as bizarre is that families have to ensure that these extra child restraints are fitted to the family vehicle (which on average, is normally driven carefully and to the speed limit) and Taxi-Cabs (which on average, try to get you to your destination as fast as they can so that they can race to their next fare) are exempt from this legislation! Where is the sense in that? Perhaps somebody can explain this to me because no matter how hard I try, I just cannot comprehend the reason for such an exemption.

- Richie Northcote
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