Every year around 127 WA children aged up to 16 years old are killed or seriously injured, when the vehicle they are travelling in is involved in an accident. According to the Office of Road Safety, on average, 16% of those children would not have been in the appropriate child car restraint.
In many cases, deaths and injuries have been prevented by the correct purchase, installation and appropriate use of child car restraints.
Do you know the laws?
On October 1 2010, new laws came into effect that introduced rules for children in vehicles.
The laws reduce the risk of injury caused by the use of unsuitable restraints for a child’s size by specifying the type of restraint to be used at different ages and where children must be seated in a vehicle.
The laws require children from:
- Birth to under 6 months to be restrained in a rearward facing child restraint (e.g. infant capsule).
- 6 months to under 4 years to be restrained in either a rearward or forward facing child restraint with in-built harness.
- 4 years to under 7 years to be restrained in either a forward facing child restraint or booster seat restrained by a correctly adjusted and fastened seat belt or child safety harness.
Also, children under 4 years are not allowed to sit in the front seat of a vehicle with two or more rows of seats, and those from 4 years to under 7 years are only allowed to sit in the front seats if all rear seats are occupied by children less than 7 years of age.
Children 7 years and over can be restrained in an adult seat belt or booster seat.