New safety regulations for child car seats have come into force to protect youngsters in the event of a road accident.
All new seats will now feature a new sizing system called i-Size, which is designed to reduce the chances of child injury by keeping babies facing rearwards for longer.
It grades seats based on a child’s height and weight and is much more accurate than the previous system.
Sizing it up
All new vehicles will have “i-Size-ready” seating positions so that any i-Size child seat will fit in, regardless of make or design.
A vehicle fitting list, showing which cars a child seat will fit, is now only required for seats being used in pre-July 2013 vehicles.
Hamish McPhillips, business development manager at the Transport Research Laboratory’s Child Safety Centre, said: “The current child car seat regulation has been in place since the early 80s, but since this time the cars we drive have changed radically.
“We also have a better understanding of what actually happens during an
accident. The new regulation takes this into account and is designed to make child car seats safer, as well as easier to buy, fit and use.”
Side impact accidents
Known as regulation 129, the new rule will eventually replace the current regulation 44, which is to be phased out. The new regulation will initially only apply to Isofix child restraints with an internal harness. However, it will eventually apply to all child safety seats.
“Another significant change is that all new child car seats with regulation 129 must now be tested to ensure that a child remains secure in their seat in the event of a side impact,” Mr McPhillips continued.
“Side impact collisions account for around 25% of road accidents in Europe. Despite this, the current regulation takes no account of side impact protection. All regulation 129 child car seats will also be limited to a total combined weight of 33kg, to include the seat and occupant and all regulation 129 child car seats designed for children younger than 15 months must now be rear facing.”
Source: Road Safety GB