Bigger car seat law boost wanted
Changes to the child car restraints law do not go far enough for some Matamata parents.
From November 1, children must use an approved car or booster seat until their seventh birthday.
It is a two-year extension on the current law.
But Firth Primary parent Jenny Mayo says the change should have been based on height rather than age.
‘‘Our kids are 8 and 10 and they still use their booster seats,’’ she said.
‘‘ Otherwise the seatbelt across their necks.’’
She plans to keep her son and grandson in booster seats until they reach the Plunketrecommended height of 148cm.
‘‘It’s safer for them to stay in them,’’ she said. ‘‘ It should be made compulsory. Our kids can’t be replaced so we need to give them all the protection we can while they are in our care.’’
It may be a while before her 10- year- old chucks his booster seat – he still has about 10cm to grow.
In the past he had copped a bit of flack from his classmates for using it, Ms Mayo said.
‘‘It doesn’t worry him too much now though because he knows it keeps him safe.’’
Other parents commenting on the Chronicle facebook page agreed the age of 7 was too young.
Sonia Smith said: ‘‘I have three boys 8, 6, 4 [and] all three are still in booster seats. I like having the boys in booster seats as the seat belts fit properly.
‘‘I am in no rush for the boys to get out of their booster seats as it is more safe for them to be in them. Should be compulsory to be in them till 10 years of age.’’
Becks Allen said she kept her daughter, who was tall for her age, in a booster seat until she was 10.
‘‘ I don’t know how parents/ caregivers can feel okay about allowing young-uns to travel in vehicles without them.
‘‘Awesome how they are increasing the age to 7, but realistically
cuts should be up to the age of 10.’’
Safekids New Zealand acknowledged that the law change was a positive step forward but encouraged parents to follow the 148cm rule.
New Zealand Transport road safety director Ernst Zollner said the change would bring New Zealand into line with the requirements of Australia.
‘‘Children are especially vulnerable to injury in crashes, and the standard seats and safety belts installed in most vehicles are designed to protect an averagesized adult,’’ he said.
‘‘Because children are smaller and have different body shapes, they need more protection to keep them safe in a car. These changes will make travel safer for New Zealand children and they will help to reduce tragic and preventable deaths and serious injuries among our youngest road users.’’