Chang­ing rules a wel­comed step

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

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.’’

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