Treasury

13
Jun

Correctly fitted child car seats save lives

Treasury Portfolio

A new look website that provides parents and carers with information to ensure their child has the safest child car seat possible has been launched today.The website, which was developed for the Child Restraint Evaluation Program (CREP), contains information to educate parents and carers on how to choose the best restraint for their child and how to ensure the restraint is correctly fitted to the vehicle.

The results from CREP, where child restraints and booster seats are given a star rating for crash protection and ease of use, are available on the website.

CREP, supported by a group of government agencies and motoring organisations, including RACV, VicRoads and the Transport Accident Commission (TAC), helps parents to choose the safest restraint for their child.

 Minister for Roads, Terry Mulder said the correct choice of child car seat, when correctly fitted, has been proven to save young lives.

 “Research shows us how effective child car seats are in protecting our children in the event of a crash or heavy braking, and that their effectiveness is compromised if not fitted correctly.

“Research has also shown us that 70 per cent of child car seats are not fitted correctly,” Mr Mulder said.

“That’s a figure that greatly concerns me and I’m urging every parent and carer to go to the website before buying a child car seat to ensure you buy the safest restraint for your child, one that is easy to fit.”

Research shows that children who are incorrectly restrained are up to seven times more likely to be seriously injured in a crash than children who are restrained correctly.

In addition, children in adult seatbelts are three and a half times more likely to sustain a significant injury, particularly to the head, than those in dedicated child restraint systems.

RACV Manager Road User Behaviour, Melinda Spiteri said parents and carers should ensure that they choose the safest possible car seat for their child.

“RACV urges all parents and carers to select a child restraint which offers the greatest protection and ease of use.

 “The consequences of not choosing the right restraint for a child and not securing the child properly in the restraint can be catastrophic. It’s also important children stay in their restraint until they have outgrown it,” Ms Spiteri said.

In late 2013, the TAC partnered with RACV in launching an online video series, 'Nino's Child Restraint Challenge', on how to best fit car restraints for children. 

Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips said correctly fitted child restraints are a must, one of many components of the TAC and its road safety partners’ vision for zero deaths and serious injuries on our roads. 

“We can make roads and roadsides safer, promote the development and purchase of safer vehicles as well as encourage people to behave more safely on the roads, but this will only get us so far. 

“The community needs to be involved and having a correctly fitted restraint is one significant step to take.”

For more information on how to choose and use your child car seat correctly go to www.childcarseats.com.au

Media contact: Larissa Garvin 0427 669 628   larissa.garvin@minstaff.vic.gov.au 
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