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I came across an add in the newspaper the other week end advising that there is to new rules for child restraints and booster seats in Victoria. A quick check of the VicRoads website shows that the new rules are to be introduced on Nov 9 2009.
The quote below comes directly from the VicRoads website. For further information check the website for full details.
The new rules for using child restraints and booster seats.
Starting 9 November 2009, children under seven years of age must wear a child restraint or booster seat when travelling in a car for improved safety.
The type of restraint will depend on the age of the child as follows:
- Children aged under six months must wear an approved, properly fastened and adjusted, rear facing child restraint.
- Children aged between six months and under four years must wear an approved, properly fastened and adjusted, rear facing child restraint OR a forward facing child restraint with an in-built harness.
- Children aged between four years and under seven must wear an approved, properly fastened and adjusted, forward facing child restraint with an in-built harness OR an approved booster seat which is properly positioned and fastened.
There are also new laws for where children can sit in vehicles.
- If a car has two or more rows of seats, then children under four years must not travel in the front seat
- If all seats, other than the front seats, are being used by children under seven years, children aged between four and six years (inclusive) may travel in the front seat, provided they use an approved restraint or booster seat.
This means that I will have to look at our current situation with the school pick up arrangements. Currently two days a week I bring two other children home in our car. (My lovely neighbour then brings home two of my children the other three nights.) The children I bring home are aged 5 and 10. As he does in his own car, the 5 year old sits in a seat without a booster. This will no longer be an option after November with the new rules, so I will need to start researching options for the new child restraint requirements.
A great starting point has been the RACV website. It has a child restraint calculator to determine the most appropriate restraints and tips for buying the safest booster seat.
I am quite happy with the rule changes. I am generally on the more cautious side with child restraints and find my kids complain “that no one else sits in one”. Now I have the law on my side!