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Thread: New rules for using child restraints and booster seats -

  1. #1

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    Exclamation New rules for using child restraints and booster seats -

    New rules for using child restraints and booster seats -


    VICTORIA - November 9th 2009
    NEW SOUTH WALES - March 1st 2010
    QUEENSLAND - March 11th 2010


    From 9 November 2009 there will be some changes to Victoria?s road safety rules. These changes include new rules for the use of child restraints and booster seats in vehicles and will help parents and carers ensure their children are in the safest child restraint or booster seat for their age.

    The new rules for using child restraints and booster seats
    Starting 9 November 2009, children under seven years of age must wear a child restraint or booster seat when travelling in a car for improved safety.

    The type of restraint will depend on the age of the child as follows:

    ?Children aged under six months must wear an approved, properly fastened and adjusted, rear facing child restraint
    ?Children aged between six months and under four years must wear an approved, properly fastened and adjusted, rear facing child restraint OR a forward facing child restraint with an in-built harness
    ?Children aged between four years and under seven must wear an approved, properly fastened and adjusted, forward facing child restraint with an in-built harness OR an approved booster seat which is properly positioned and fastened.

    There are also new laws for where children can sit in vehicles.
    ?If a car has two or more rows of seats, then children under four years must not travel in the front seat
    ?If all seats, other than the front seats, are being used by children under seven years, children aged between four and six years (inclusive) may travel in the front seat, provided they use an approved restraint or booster seat.

    VicRoads also recommends
    That you have restraints fitted by an approved child restraint fitter.

    The road safety reasons

    ?On average, nearly 300 children under the age of seven are injured or killed as passengers in vehicles on Victorian roads each year
    ?Parents are generally moving their children into adult seatbelts from about the age of five and a half years - research suggests this is simply too early
    ?Children up to seven years are at least four times more likely to sustain a head injury in a crash when sitting in an adult seatbelt only
    ?Other research shows seating children aged four to seven years old in an appropriate booster seat reduces their risk of injury in a crash by almost 60 per cent, compared to if they were sitting in an adult seatbelt without a booster seat.

    What you have to do
    To comply with the new child restraint rules you:

    ?have to know which is the correct child restraint(s) to use
    ?have to ensure that each child passenger is wearing a properly fitted and fastened child restraint or booster seat suitable for their age every time they travel in a vehicle.

    Exemptions
    Taxis will continue to be exempt from the child restraint requirements. However, parents are encouraged to use their own restraints in taxis where possible. When there is no suitable child restraint available a seatbelt must be worn.

    Frequently asked questions

    1.What can I do if my child is too big for the restraint for their age?
    The new laws aim to cater for the majority of children, however there is a provision to allow a child who is too tall or heavy for the recommended restraint to use the restraint in the next age category.


    2.What should I look for when purchasing a child restraint?
    All child restraints sold in Australia must meet the Australian Standard AS/NZS 1754. However, independent testing has shown that some restraints provide more protection and are easier to use than others. When purchasing a restraint consider the following:


    ?its suitability for the child in relation to their age, weight and height
    ?the size of the seat space and vehicle (where possible take your car with you to test that the restraint/booster fits).

    Child restraints

    1. What can I do if my child is too big for a booster seat?
    While the new laws aim to cater for the majority of children, a provision will be included to ensure a child is not required to use a restraint unsuitable for their height and weight. A child, who is too heavy for the restraint recommended for their age, should use a restraint for the next age category (see table below). For example, if a child is too big for a booster (greater than 26kg), a seatbelt can be worn or an approved child safety harness can be used in conjunction with a lap belt or lap/sash seatbelt. In addition there are products such as SafeFit which can help achieve good seatbelt fit. Rear facing child restraint (inbuilt harness) Products are available for children up to 9kg or 12kg.

    Approved child restraint (inbuilt harness) Suitable for children up to a maximum weight of 18kg.

    Approved booster seat(additional child safety harness optional) Suitable for children up to a maximum weight of 26kg


    2. If my child is in a booster seat do they also need to be in a child safety harness?
    Booster seats do not come with a child safety harness. Booster seats are designed to be used with a lap/sash seatbelt. However, if your child is using a seating position fitted with a lap-only belt then they must use a child safety harness.

    3. What's the difference between inbuilt harness and a child safety harness?
    An inbuilt harness is made at the time of manufacture as part of the child restraint. It is suitable for children up to 18kg. There are no inbuilt harnesses available for children over 18kg. A child safety harness is purchased separately. It is suitable for children that are between 18kg up to 32kg.

    4. Does the booster seat have to be anchored?

    If the booster seat comes with a tether strap it must be anchored. However, there are some booster seats that meet the Australian Standard (AS/NZS 1754) that do not need to be anchored in a vehicle.

    5. Is it possible to fit three child restraints across the back seat of my car?
    There is considerable variation in the types of child restraints and booster seats available. It will depend on the type chosen, as well as the combination of restraints required, and the make and model of your car. Don't forget - you will also need to find out whether there are enough anchorage points in your vehicle with which to fit the restraints. If you are unsure where the anchorage points are located in your vehicle, refer to the vehicle owner's manual under the section of "Child Restraints" or "Child Restraint Anchorage Systems".

    6. If I can't fit my three children in three restraints in the back, is it OK if one sits in the front?
    Yes. If there are two child restraints or booster seats in the rear and there is not enough space to put a third restraint or booster in the rear seat then a passenger aged four to less than seven years can be in a booster seat in the front seat. You will need to use a booster seat that does not need to be anchored.

    7. Can I still use the additional seat (****ie seat) that I have in the back of my station wagon?
    ****ie seats will be permitted for use for children aged four and less than seven years provided the seat is suitable for children's height and weight and a lap sash seatbelt or seatbelt with a child safety harness is used.
    Last edited by Olive; November 4th, 2009 at 04:07 PM. Reason: added NSW

  2. #2

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    Thanks for posting. I need to see if I can find anything about NSW.

    But just somehting I noticed ...
    What's the difference between inbuilt harness and a child safety harness?
    An inbuilt harness is made at the time of manufacture as part of the child restraint. It is suitable for children up to 18kg. There are no inbuilt harnesses available for children over 18kg. A child safety harness is purchased separately. It is suitable for children that are between 18kg up to 32kg.
    Aren't maxi-riders and secure and infa-pod all going up to 26kgs?? They have inbuilt harnesses? (not that i am posting this at you as i realise you dont have the answers, just dutifully posting useful informnation, just pondering is all)
    Last edited by The[cookie]Doctor; October 27th, 2009 at 07:21 PM.

  3. #3

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    Maxi Riders have a built in harness up to 18kg & then an extra thing included to use as a harness with a normal seatbelt.

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    Clear as mud Olive Thanks for posting that!

  5. #5

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    yep what sarah said
    i couldnt find any info on changes for NSW, maybe email or ring them though i assume at this stage they arnt changing

  6. #6

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    Hmmm well we're not to 18kg yet so i guess i'll cross that bridge when we come to it
    And yep at the moment it seems no change up here but we're following the Vic laws anyway.

  7. #7

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    sounds like a plan

  8. #8

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    From what I understand the NSW laws were going to be the same as of Jan 2009, but nothing ever came out about it. Maybe they are changing it to Jan 2010 ?????

    Z is still in the built in harness too (only 16.5kg at nearly 5yo!). Cookiemonster, when you clean the Maxi Rider, underneath the foam padding in the seat there is a little compartment where the extra harness attachement is stored. When you get that out you store the regular one in there as well.

  9. #9

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    i thought they were already enforced in NSW.
    as we were told this 6 months ago when getting new seat for DD and its on the NSW RTA website.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah_H View Post
    Cookiemonster, when you clean the Maxi Rider, underneath the foam padding in the seat there is a little compartment where the extra harness attachement is stored. When you get that out you store the regular one in there as well.
    Ahh okay, thanks for that. We have a Secure one which i got told is supposed to be no different but I didn't check for anything like that.

  11. #11

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    we found the clip to hold the lap part down the other day, hubby was very suprised..

  12. #12

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    Adding in that NSW are also onboard as of March 1st 2010

  13. #13

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    Default not likely

    Well, I have to say that I am not going to be purchasing seats with inbuilt harnesses for my children despite them falling into the category where they need one (5.5 and 3.5 years old, 16 and 17 kgs) despite both being too tall for the manufacturers recommendations of where the harness should sit. (no further than a few inches below shoulder level on all the ones I have seen)

    it is WAY too expensive, I don't have that kind of cash.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by edaj84 View Post
    Well, I have to say that I am not going to be purchasing seats with inbuilt harnesses for my children despite them falling into the category where they need one (5.5 and 3.5 years old, 16 and 17 kgs) despite both being too tall for the manufacturers recommendations of where the harness should sit. (no further than a few inches below shoulder level on all the ones I have seen)

    it is WAY too expensive, I don't have that kind of cash.
    Can I ask what are they sitting in now? And do you live in NSW? Cause even without the new laws, at that weight they should still be sitting in child seats.

  15. #15

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    wanted to add that on sunrise this morning they said that a seat that can hold up to 36kg has been given the green light to be produced immediately, should be out soon!

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peachface View Post
    Can I ask what are they sitting in now? And do you live in NSW? Cause even without the new laws, at that weight they should still be sitting in child seats.
    Sorry it took me so long to reply, they are sitting in booster seats that are marketed for 14-26 kgs (but not with the inbuilt harness), no I don't live in NSW but even if I did, the seats that they were in were fine prior to the new laws.


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