Parents Fail In Child Car Seat Fitment Check
10 December 2003
Caption - Confiscated child car seat
The child car seat bought for $10 in a second hand shop, confiscated by Police at a Plunket and Police roadside check of child car seats. From left: Dr Muriel Newman, ACT spokesperson for Police and Associate spokesperson for Health; Sgt Mike George, Porirua Police; and Viv Morton, Plunket's car seat rental scheme co-ordinator in Porirua.
Around 90 percent of the vehicles stopped this morning in a Plunket and Police roadside check of child car seats in Porirua failed because the child seats were either too old or damaged, or were not correctly fitted.
Some child seats were stored in the boots of vehicles, while babies and children were sitting unrestrained in the cars, or held by adults. Some drivers were sent home to put the seats into the car and then come back to the roadside check to collect their adult and child passengers.
One child seat with a six year life-span, purchased for $10 from a second-hand shop, was so cracked and damaged it was confiscated.
Plunket's national safety adviser, Sue Campbell, said the roadside check showed that the majority of New Zealanders still didn't understand the importance of correctly fitting and using child seats.
Caption - Plunket Police child car seat check
Vini Nika (in foreground), aged 16 months, passed the test when Plunket and Police checked the fitment of his car seat and that of his two and a half year old sister, Viena.
Undertaking the roadside check of child car seats are Sgt Mike George of Porirua Police, and Sue Campbell, Plunket's national safety adviser.
"If what we saw today is reflected throughout the country, we have a huge issue to deal with, particularly so close to Christmas and the summer holiday period, a time when families take to the roads.
"Parents and care givers have a responsibility to get this right. There are no excuses," said Sue Campbell.
Porirua Police Sgt Mike George warned motorists that Police were going to get tough.
"If you are driving a vehicle in which children are not restrained in car seats, you can expect to get a ticket because you are breaking the law and endangering the life of your child passengers.
"Frankly, it's far cheaper and safer for all concerned if you hire a car seat - it's a lot less expensive than getting a ticket and paying a fine," said Mike George.
Sue Campbell said fitment checks of child car seats can be undertaken at Car Seat Rental Schemes.
"Look under Plunket in the white pages of the phone directory and make a time to have your vehicle checked.
"It was great to see most vehicles had car seats. Parents need to ensure the seat is correctly fitted, it is the only way a child has a chance in a crash."