Drivers warned of £500 fine and points if they ignore important safety rule when driving with their children

DRIVERS have been warned of a £500 fine and points if they ignore an important safety rule when travelling with their children.

Parents must ensure the correct measures are taken, including child seats, to protect their kids in the car. 


Drivers have been warned of an important safety rule when travelling with childrenCredit: Getty

Failure to wear a seatbelt or ensure a child has an appropriate car seat or seatbelt could also affect claims against motor insurance cover. 

Under rules 99 to 102 of The Highway Code, youngsters must remain in a car seat until they’re 12 years old or 135 centimetres tall, whichever comes first.

Car seats can be chosen depending on the child’s weight and height. 

Those under 15 months must be placed in a rear-facing car seat until they reach 15 months and can sit in a forward-facing car seat.

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Common mistakes

Common mistakes parents make include incorrectly installing the car seat, adding non-essential toys to the seat or having the straps too loose or too tight.

If the seat feels very loose it is unlikely to be installed correctly or it may not be compatible with the car model.

Bulky clothes & toys

Bulky clothes can also be a safety risk as the layers add extra slack and reduce the car seat’s defence.

A blanket can be placed over a child after they have been strapped in if they need to be kept warm.

It is also recommended to avoid adding toys to the car seat. If they get detached, they become a flight risk and can distract while driving.

Adjust straps

And straps must be properly adjusted to avoid the child becoming dislodged in the seat.

One way to check is by placing your fingers on the harness by the child’s collar bone.

The harness is too loose if the strap can be pinched together and folded.

Front-facing seats

Ensure also that youngsters remain in a rear-facing seat until they reach 13kg or 15months old.

As they are still developing injuries to their neck, head and spine are at risk if they move front-facing too soon.

And when they grow, make sure to adjust the strap height accordingly.

Strap height

The amount a child’s body can move during a crash is increased if the strap height does not match the child’s and it risks injury.

In rear-facing seats, the straps should come through the car seat slots below or at the same level as their shoulders.

On forward-facing seats, the straps should be above or at the same level as the shoulders.

Booster seats

A general rule suggests children over four can move to a booster seat, but it varies case by case.

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Booster seats have various weight and height limits depending on the manufacturer.

And if the a child cannot stay still in a booster seat, it may be worth staying with a child seat for a while.

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