Officers from South Gloucestershire Council’s road safety team and Avon and Somerset Police will be carrying out child car seat safety checks at The Mall Cribbs Causeway on Tuesday 22 May.
Between 9.30am and 5pm, police officers will be stopping vehicles carrying young people to allow representatives from the road safety team, in partnership with Child Seat Safety, to check child car seats and ensure that young people are safe and secure when travelling by car.
Previous safety checks carried out across the West of England have shown that almost half of all child car seats are fitted incorrectly. Last year we carried out 567 car seat checks across four areas in South Gloucestershire. The results found that just over half (320 seats) were fitted correctly, 227 seats were fitted incorrectly and 20 children were not in an appropriate seat.
Cllr Colin Hunt, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “Every car seat safety check day we carry out confirms how necessary these events are, as large numbers of drivers we talk to are unsure of the correct fitting for their seat. They often have lots of questions to ask our experts, particularly about booster seats at the moment, and are always very appreciative of the help and advice given.
“Many of the major faults found were due to seats belts requiring re-routing. This means that the seat has been fitted wrongly and the manufacturer’s instructions have not been followed. Minor faults included internal harnesses that were very loose requiring adjustment. In the event of a collision a loose harness could cause a child to be ejected from their child seat, so whilst it is classed as a minor fault this could be fatal in the event of a collision. Other minor adjustments include removal of headrests, these sometimes tend to get in the way of car seats being securely fitted into a vehicle, and twists in seatbelts, which can mean they are less effective in a collision.”
If any drivers would like to have their car seat checked voluntarily, they are welcome to stop by The Mall Cribbs Causeway between 9.30am and 5pm on Tuesday 22 May. Parents, grandparents, childminders or carers are also invited to drop in, as road safety officers will be available to give free advice and literature on child restraints and the law.
The road safety team will be holding similar events around South Gloucestershire later in the year.