July 10, 2007

BCAA reminds parents to buckle up their children in summer


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Burnaby, British Columbia – The British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) is reminding parents to make sure children are buckled up safely when heading out on the road this summer.

“It’s important to realize that the current regulations relating to child safety seats are the minimum required standards,” says David Dunne, director of provincial programs for the BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation. While British Columbia’s new regulations will align with best child passenger safety practices and provide more protection to children, Dunne says that “Parents shouldn’t wait until July 2008. They should adopt the best practices now to protect their child’s safety.”

Current regulations in B.C. require the use of child safety seats only for children up to 18 kg (40 lbs). Most children reach this weight by the time they are four or five years old, which is too young to safely use adult seatbelts alone. Children who have outgrown their forward-facing child seats should use a booster until they are nine years old, unless they have reached the height of 145 cm (4-foot-9). A booster seat will correctly position the vehicle seatbelt over the child’s shoulders and across the hip; children under nine who use a seatbelt without an appropriate booster seat face increased risk of serious injury or death in the event of a crash.

The current B.C. regulations also exempt non-parent drivers from child safety seat requirements, resulting in many children being transported without safety seats. Several of these exemptions will be removed by the new legislation, announced by the government last May. For more information, visit ChildSeatInfo.ca.

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