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New booster seat legislation for Jersey?

New booster seat legislation for Jersey?

Monday 05 December 2016

New booster seat legislation for Jersey?

Monday 05 December 2016


Parents have raised concerns over Jersey legislation on booster seats, after it was revealed that backless booster seats will be illegal for under 12s in the UK from December this year.

Under the new ruling, in the UK, backless booster seats will only be approved for use for children taller than 1.25m, with a weight of more than 22kg.

At present, Jersey follows European Union legislation. Introduced here in 2006, the Directive required all Member States to create a legal requirement for children under 1.5m in height to travel using an “appropriate child restraint.”

This means that any driver failing to ensure that their child is secured with a restraint appropriate for their height and weight could be eligible for a fine.

Booster seat regulations

Pictured: Jersey's current regulations on child restraints and seatbelts, as they appear on the gov.je website.

Senior Traffic Officer and Deputy Inspector of Motor Traffic, Chris Le Maistre, told Express that legislation "on the issue of child restraints [is] currently being reviewed."

"[We] will continue to review developments in the UK (and for that matter elsewhere in Europe) so that we can apply best practice if appropriate in Jersey. We will be discussing it at officer level and with the Road Safety Panel before any decisions are made with regard to changing our legislation."

"Current legislation in Jersey requires children to use an appropriate restraint ...[which] include: baby carriers, child seats, harnesses, [and] booster seats. They must be suitable for the child's weight and must carry a BS Kitemark or a UN 'E' mark, plus a manufacturer's label showing the weight for which it has been designed," he added. 

Although it remains to be seen whether Jersey will redefine what is considered “appropriate” in line with the UK’s ruling on backless boosters, Road Safety Officer Philip Blake strongly advocates for the use of high-backed seats for children. 

On JerseySafeRoads.com, he advised that incorrectly-fitted seats can lead to “unnecessary injuries.”

“The high-backed booster seat will ensure that the lap part of the seat belt lies correctly over the lap of your child, rather than the stomach.

“If you use a booster cushion only, the diagonal portion of the belt will probably rub against the child’s neck and is positioned badly across the child’s body… Many children then move the diagonal part of the belt behind their back or under their arm. In the event of a crash, they will receive unnecessary injuries if using the belt in this way,” he warned.

Responding to a related posting on the ‘Mums in Jersey’ Facebook page, one parent wrote: “Whether Jersey has a law change or not, people should be seriously considering getting them and getting rid of their old backless ones.”

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