Drivers who fail to secure young children in safety seats could be in for a nasty surprise come September.
New regulations about to come into force mean they face fixed penalty fines of £30 or up to £500 if the case goes to court through failing to comply with the new EU directive on road safety.
Children under three must ride in a child seat, while those up to10 years (or 4 feet 5 inches) must at least sit on a booster cushion when travelling in vehicles fitted with seat belts. Rear facing baby seats must not be used in front passenger seats when airbags are fitted, unless the airbags are deactivated.
The new regulations could do much to reduce the number of fatal and serious accidents involving children - around 2,000 under 10s die or are seriously injured in car accidents each year. They may also help to dissuade the 40 per cent of drivers who fail to secure their children at all during a car journey.
With so many good value child seats on the market, and now a deterrent that could hit offenders hard in the pocket, there really is no excuse for putting children’s lives at risk, however short the journey.
As a leading manufacturer, Vauxhall offer owners a range of three child seats to provide a high level of safety for children up to 12 years. All are designed to fit perfectly in Vauxhall vehicles, are easy to install and come with removable and washable covers.
For babies from birth to 13 kg (approximately 15 months), the cradle-type Vauxhall BABY-SAFE seat (from £90) has an adjustable headrest and harness and comes with a sturdy carrying handle for added convenience. It is designed for rear-facing use on the rear seat using the standard three-point seatbelt.
There is also a seat specifically designed for use on the rear seat of Vauxhall vehicles equipped with the ISOFIX system, or for use with the standard three-point seatbelt. The Vauxhall DUO ISOFIX seat (from £180) has an adjustable headrest and harness, and is designed for children from 9 – 18 kg (approximately 9 months to 4 years). The ISOFIX connections are designed to minimise the risk of incorrect installation.
Older children from 15 - 36 kg (approximately 4 to 12 years) can be kept secure and comfortable in the Vauxhall KID seat (£80). This fits forward facing on the rear seat using the standard three-point seatbelt. Its backrest and adjustable headrest allow this seat to grow with the child.
All 3 seat designs are available from Vauxhall retailers throughout the country, or can be ordered online for home delivery from the Vauxhall accessory website at www.vauxhall-accessories.comPublished 9 September 2006