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ACC Plunket scheme to get more seats

16 March 2005

ACC Plunket scheme to get more seats

Strong demand has prompted ACC to expand a low-rental child car seat scheme targeting low income families that was launched last year with Plunket Car Seat Rental Schemes.

ACC Programme Manager Heidi Shewan said the scheme had proved very effective since it began in July last year with 1000 seats, and so ACC was going to fund an extra 1000 seats. “In just three months last year, all the ACC funded seats allocated to four low income areas where there had been low rates of child restraint wearing were rented,” Ms Shewan said. “

For some parents, money was the only barrier. Once they had an affordable car seat, they were more than happy to use it.”

The seats are available to parents and caregivers with children under four at a reduced rental and bond. Community service cardholders and people referred by other agencies such as the Police are among those considered for the preferential rental arrangements.

Recipients also get training on the correct installation and use of a child restraint. ACC also provides support for parents/ caregivers receiving ThinkSafe restraints to install anchor bolts into their vehicles if required. “

Research has found that properly used child restraints and safety belts reduce the risk of death in a vehicle crash by 71 percent and injury by 67 percent,” Ms Shewan said.

"Injured children may have to live with the consequences for the rest of their lives, with all the associated social, emotional and financial costs," she said. Under New Zealand law, it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that all children are restrained in the appropriate child restraint or a safety belt. The scheme is one of three ACC partnerships that help parents get the right car restraints for their children.

ACC also funds Safe2Go, a partnership with LTSA, which trains car seat installation technicians. Other low-cost rental schemes offer seats to the Maori and Pacific communities through Family Start and the Manukau Urban Maori Authority.

ENDS

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