Confused at new law for child car seats

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by uumode, Aug 6, 2006.

  1. uumode

    uumode MB Enthusiast

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    I, I, can't see any real difference?

    http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/...ick&langId=-1&catalogId=10151&ddkey=ClickInfo

    Just that it is compulsory for 3-11 year olds to have a suitable restraint (which I thought was law anyway, but realise that it was 'optional')

    Neighbours seem to think that a child up to 11 needs to now sit in a fully bolstered car seat and that a child booster won't do.

    But the law isn't clear, and I'm confused.

    I did a search on the Britax site (which is probably one of the largest manufacturers of car seats) fit finder
    http://www.britax.co.uk/FitFinder/GB/CarSelection.php

    and no car seats for a larger child (group 3) are suitable for either my Mercedes E or Avensis!

    Also the car seat manufacturers categorise the child requirements in weight, the law has specified height :-S



    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2006
  2. badshot1uk

    badshot1uk Active Member

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    Your right, I was wandering about this, there doesnt seem to be any change, at least 3-11 years anyway?????
     
  3. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    The rear seats of my R129 are officially designated as "child seats", even though they only have lap belts. No idea whether they will be legal now or not!
     
  4. OP
    OP
    uumode

    uumode MB Enthusiast

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    Precisely! How do we know if the law hasn't defined 'suitable restraint'.
    - it doesn't help the Government hasn't issued a new specific BS number so consumers can buy car seats in the knowledge that they are certified OK.
     
  5. Pontoneer

    Pontoneer Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Put the kids on the bus .

    You can then drive to your destination in your Mercedes-Benz in peace & quiet without cries of "are we there yet" every 5 minutes .

    PLUS no spilt food drinks or vomit on your upholstery , no sticky fingerprints on the windows .

    "Keep your Mercedes-Benz as its maker intended":D :D
     
  6. Bedouin

    Bedouin New Member

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    I think the Halfords data is incorrect.

    At present you are not required to have child seats for any children unless they are travelling in the front seat (but if you do have them they must be used if possible).

    After Sept you will be required to have appropriate restraints for all children under 12yrs/135cms. (Two exceptions - taxis and occasional/emergency transport).

    The definition of a Child restraint is one that is certified as complying with the appropriate EU directive :mad:
     
  7. Mr E

    Mr E MB Enthusiast

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    Looks like the law is just tightening up, making use of restraints compulsary....the previous wording of the law included the phrase "if available" and this has now been removed.

    By definition an appripriate restraint is one that:
    a) conforms to ECE Reg 44-03
    b) is suitable for the child's weight and size
    c) is correctly fitted

    The other change is that rearward-facing seats will be illegal in a car where a front pax airbag is fitted.

    What does it all mean?

    One would hope we all have the correct restraints for our kids anyway, but for kids up to 12 years / 135 cm they must be using a restraint as above, except in very specific circumstances. The restraints / seats are exactly as the various stages we now have, so an 11-year old is fine on a booster seat. For any "responsible" parent, the new law will have no effect whatsoever.
     
  8. andy_k

    andy_k MB Enthusiast

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    removed by me
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2006
  9. Mr E

    Mr E MB Enthusiast

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    If over 135cm, booster seats are not legally required - I have the same with my 11-year old. If 12 years or over, or over 135cm in height, the adult seatbelt must be worn in both the front and rear of the vehicle.

    I assume that a booster could be used, but at this height it may start to impede the correct function of the seatbelt.
     
  10. Bedouin

    Bedouin New Member

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    What concerns me are the rear-facing bench seats in my W210 estate.

    These are only designed for children (in fact the manual points out that it is dangerous to use them if you are more than 150cms tall) but because they are not officially certified to EU Directive 44.04 they do not technically comply with the law.
     
  11. Mr E

    Mr E MB Enthusiast

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    If these are "seats" and not restraints, then ECE 44-03 wouldn't apply.

    United Nations Regulation No. 44
    "Uniform Provisions Concerning the Approval of Restraining Devices for Child Occupants of Power-Driven Vehicles ('Child Restraint Systems')"

    However, the "restraints" used may need to comply........

    BTW - ECE 44-03 is the latest standard.....so using a seat is not labelled as such but broadly meets the standard (regarding buckle placement, strap dimensions, etc, and has a standards mark) are still allowable but are likely to be quite old as 44-03 has been in place for a number of years.
     
  12. Rory

    Rory MB Enthusiast

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    There's a bit of a kerfuffle going on in the Disney forums because Florida has just made it mandatory for children 0-3 to be in child seats, *even* in taxi's!
     
  13. Bedouin

    Bedouin New Member

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    I'm impressed by your knowledge of ECE regulations :)

    It is reassuring that previous standards are still acceptable (although the Gov website I looked at had worded it in such a way as to make it seem you needed the latest). However I suspect there is still a grey area with the rear seats in that they will probably not have been certified as child seats under any standard.

    That said I think that rear-facing seats are much safer than front-facing ones in most head-on collisions - my only concern with the bench seats would be in the case of side impact where there is little lateral restraint and I assume the air-bags don't operate in that area either
     
  14. Benzowner

    Benzowner MB Enthusiast

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    What happens if the adult is under 135cms? and could be the driver:D :D
     
  15. OP
    OP
    uumode

    uumode MB Enthusiast

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    Boots helped clarify a bit more.
    http://www.boots.com/microsites/mic...?contentId=4912&wblinktype=SIL&wblinktype=SIL
    So in my case with boosters, I was already using the correct restraints :)

    I knew the adult belt crossed the kids shoulder properly on the collar bone, but was unsure from memory if it crossed their hips (instead of their stomach). I did a visual check and the booster arms correctly position the lap area of the belt on their hips too :)

    sorted :)

    Here is (I 'think') the official site
    http://www.childcarseats.org.uk/law/fromseptember06.htm
     
  16. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    Doesn't help with my R129's rear lap belts though! Quite a few older estate cars etc. only have a lap belt in the centre, so I can't be the only one wanting to know what "correct restraint" means in this case! I see it will be quite legal for a child in the back to be completely unrestrained if no seat belts are fitted!
     
  17. Mr E

    Mr E MB Enthusiast

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    See note above re applicability of ECE reg. Your seats, whatever they may be designated by the manufacturer as, are fitted with "adult" restraints. So to be compliant with the new law, for under 11's / <135cm you will need to have an "appropriate restraint" fitted into the seat at the right stage for the child.

    I see two problems........a) few child seats (if any) can be used with just a lap belt, and b) I personally wouldn't want an adult to use a lap belt, let alone a child......although this is a purely personal opinion and I'd offer no comment on what others may do.

    And yes, if there's no belts fitted, you can't wear them. The cascade works as follows:

    1) Appropriate restraint; then
    2) Adult belt in rear; then
    3) Adult belt in front; then
    4) Unrestrained in rear.

    3 is very important - carrying an unrestrained child in the rear when there is a belt in the front will be illegal. in the case of two adults and a child, the adult must ride unrestrained in the rear while the child must be restained in the front.

    Hope that helps......
     
  18. Bedouin

    Bedouin New Member

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    I thought that from Sept (3) would not be an option - that you will not be able to carry a child in the front seat if you do not have an appropriate child restraint.
     
  19. Satch

    Satch MB Enthusiast

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    Hmm. That is interesting because in some EU countries it was illegal for children under certain age/height to travel in front seats at all irrespective of the seat belt availability.

    Presume that has changes as well?
     
  20. OP
    OP
    uumode

    uumode MB Enthusiast

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    The guidelines obviously forgot about the rearward facing seats with laps,
    They have an advice page / contact for help
    http://www.childcarseats.org.uk/advice/index.htm
     

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