Changing rules a welcomed step
MTA is pleased the Government is looking to change the rules around child restraint standards in cars to improve the safety for our country’s young passengers.
As a leading advocate amongst New Zealand’s motor industry, MTA supports Government proposals to clarify and improve vehicle restraint rules for children under 7.
‘‘Naturally, we support anything that is effective in helping motorists travel as safely as possible,’’ MTA’s Hamish Stuart said.
The new Rule requires compulsory child restraints for passengers under 7 years old.
However, obviously children are different sizes – so having a height requirement is also important, as in many other countries, MTA suggests.
‘‘On a three-point belt, the top strap is designed to go across the passenger’s shoulder and chest. If they sit shorter than this – as many children do – it could catch their neck or face in an accident, and cause significant harm.’’
Also, though changing the rules is a welcome step, the real responsibility for motor vehicle safety is ultimately in the hands of the people in control of them.
Though the new rules are still being developed and aren’t scheduled to come into effect until this November, motorists driving with young children can still take simple steps now to check seatbelts and car seats are at the highest standards.
‘‘A bit of common sense and passenger consideration goes a long way.
‘‘Checking all the seatbelts work properly, car seats are secured properly, and that everyone in the car is strapped in the best way possible – these are all small, easy steps to take to make sure you are best prepared for whatever you may face on the roads,’’ Stuart said.
‘‘Children learn by example – and learning how to be safe in and around motor vehicles starts long before sitting a Driver Licence test at 16.’’