April 17, 2002

B.C. inspections reveal less than 10% of child seats correctly installed

Victoria, BC – Inspections carried out under under a child passenger safety program in British Columbia indicate that fewer than one in 10 child seats in use throughout the province are installed or used correctly.

Out of 1000 inspections conducted under the Child Passenger Safety Program, jointly sponsored by the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) and the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), only seven per cent of seats were found to be installed or used
correctly. The program was launched in September 2001.

“The number of child seats that are correctly installed is still astonishingly low,” says Linda Reid, Program Coordinator, BCAA/ICBC Child Passenger Safety Program. “And that’s just among parents and caregivers who are aware enough to bring their cars in for us to have a look.”

The most common faults found were:

  • child seat not tightly secured in the vehicle (47%)

  • child not securely fastened in the seat (28%)
  • tethers not used correctly, or not used at all (17%)
  • shoulder harness placed in the incorrect slot of the child seat (12%)
  • child in the incorrect seat for his/her weight, height and age ( 4%)

Many inspections revealed two or more faults.

To ensure your child is as safe as possible while riding in your vehicle, parents are encouraged to ask themselves the following questions:

  • Is my child in the correct seat for his or her age and size?

  • Does the child seat fit tight enough in my vehicle?
  • Is the tether strap installed correctly?
  • Am I using the vehicle seat belt correctly?

For help with these and other questions, check owner’s manuals and installation guides. Or call the BCAA/ICBC Child Passenger Safety toll free information line, 1-877-247-5551, or visit
www.bcaa.com or www.icbc.com. In British Columbia, have your seat inspected, free of charge, by one of the BCAA/ICBC’s trained and certified technicians. The Web sites also include current information on child seats, child seat recalls, and on dates and locations of upcoming inspection clinics scheduled around the province.

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