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Warwickshire Police wins funding to improve Child Car Seat Safety

December 16, 2019
PC James Graham fits a child car safety seat watched by PCC Seccombe

PC James Graham fits a child car safety seat watched by PCC Seccombe

Fifteen Warwickshire Police Staff have been trained to nationally accredited standards to help improve child car seat safety after Warwickshire Police won funding from the Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner’s Road Safety Fund.

The law states that a child must be in a child car seat until they are 12 years old or 135cm tall, whichever comes first. However checks conducted by Warwickshire Police between April 2017 and December 2017 found that 64% of child car seats were not correctly fitted.

PC James Graham, who led the bid, said “Most families are shocked at discovering they have inadvertently put their children at risk by not having them seated correctly. It is important that parents get the right independent advice to ensure that their children are well protected and in turn can reduce the risk of injury and death.

“This funding is really important as it allows us to help ensure children are being carried safely in child car seats. The qualification lasts for 3 years so provides real value for money and means that suitably trained staff can provide education, checks and engage with the public.”

The newly trained team will be getting out and about in Warwickshire offering education and engagement opportunities at locations such as shopping centres and children’s play areas.

Officers and staff will be looking at locations that families with young children may visit to offer practical expert advice around child car seat safety. The staff will also use car seat demonstrators, height charts and handing out educational leaflets to pass on what they have learned to the public.

PC Graham added “Warwickshire County Council Road Safety Education Team  are supporting the scheme and have provided engagement tools to be used at our events and we are looking forward to working with them in the future.“

This is one of 11 initial projects that have been funded by Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe as part of his serious bid to reduce the numbers of people killed and seriously injured on the county’s highways.

PCC Seccombe said “I am delighted to be able to fund this important project in Warwickshire.  Many parents may not realise their child’s car seat is incorrectly fitted or the incorrect size, so this project will help ensure we can help educate them into the future on a wider scale across the county.

“I am determined to find new ways of ensuring that our county is as safe as it can be for all road users including the most vulnerable and that’s why I will be looking to support even more projects through the Road Safety Fund in the New Year.”

Warwickshire Police is working closely with partners including Warwickshire Fire & Rescue Service, West Midlands Ambulance Service, Warwickshire County Council, Highways England, and national campaigners including BRAKE to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on the county’s roads.

Important things to remember when choosing your child’s car seat

Know the law

  • All children must use a suitable restraint for their age, weight or height
  • It is safer to transport children in the rear of the car with the correct seat.  If you have to use the front passenger seat, the airbag MUST be deactivated if using a rear facing seat.
  • Children must use the correct car seat for their height or weight until they reach 135cm tall or their 12th birthday
  • Ensure that the seat has an official standard mark (ECE) R44.04 or R129
  • Brake (the road safety charity) and other experts strongly advise parents to go one step beyond this and ensure all children under 150cm tall are always in a proper child restraint, because adult belts are not sufficient in protecting children under this height.

Further advice prior to purchasing a car seat can be found at:

You can get more information regarding the law and child car seats at:

www.gov.uk/child-car-seats-the-rules

www.childseatsafety.co.uk

www.childcarseats.org.uk/choosing-using

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