5 May 2015

Carseat checks reveal problems

11:58 am on 5 May 2015

A Bay of Plenty operation to check whether children were correctly restrained has left Plunket and the police disappointed.

During the operation, 314 cars were stopped to see if children were in correct carseats and if the restraints were correctly fitted to the vehicle. Of the 418 children in the cars, 11 were not restrained and more than half the carseats used had fitting faults which raised the potential for grave danger in a crash.

car seat

Photo: 123rf

The officer in charge of road policing in the Western Bay of Plenty, Senior Sergeant Ian Campion, said common faults included the carseat being beyond its expiry date, the seat being unsuitable for the age of the child, bolts or straps not being fitted correctly and straps being twisted or loose.

"If the child isn't restrained effectively, then those faults remove the protection that you might expect, the maximum protection you might expect, from a child restraint in the event of a collision," Mr Campion said.

Plunket assisted in the operation by checking carseats and offering advice on how they should be fitted correctly.

National child safety advisor Sue Campbell said were options for those who can't afford a carseat.

"Plunket has a fund whereby around the country we do our best to provide a restraint for people at very little cost, or no cost, if we possibly can," she said.

"Secondhand restraints may not be ideal but a good, secondhand restraint is certainly better than nothing."

Children must be in a child restraint until the age of seven.