September 18, 2002


Lower seat anchorages for child seats now mandatory in Canada

Burnaby, B.C. – Under new regulations, effective September 1, 2002, Transport Canada requires all new passenger vehicles made for the Canadian market to be
equipped with a Lower Universal Anchorage System (LUAS). Child seat
manufacturers are also required to adapt their new seats to the anchorage
system so that the two hardware systems fasten together easily.

This new system eliminates the need for fastening child seats using the vehicle’s seatbelt. It will simplify and improve child seat installation in all LUAS-equipped vehicles by making correct installation a virtual snap.

“The system also allows for traditional installation methods. Using the
seatbelt-system, parents are not required to immediately convert to the new
system,” explains Linda Reid, Program Coordinator, BCAA/ICBC Child Passenger
Safety Program. “New car seats can still be installed into older vehicles and
vice versa.”

Parents should also note that LUAS is not required for booster seats as
they are meant to position the child for correct lap/shoulder belt fit and do
not need to be anchored to the vehicle.

The new regulations are being introduced in response to the findings of
programs such as the BCAA/ICBC Child Passenger Safety Program, which revealed
that less than 10 per cent of child seats are installed or used correctly.

“Even though the new regulation brings us a step closer to simplified and
improved child seat installation, this is just one side of the equation,” says
Reid. “We still see many children in the wrong seat for their age, size, or
weight. This is a very common problem that the new regulation won’t solve, so
we’re advising parents to continue to have their seats inspected.”

Of the over 2,500 child seats inspected through the BCAA/ICBC Child
Passenger Safety Program since the program was launched on September 19, 2001, only 197 were installed or used correctly.

To address these alarming statistics, BCAA has held numerous clinics
around British Columbia to inspect seats and advise parents on the proper
installation and use of child seats. Starting January 1, 2003, the Child
Passenger Safety Program will be supported by the BCAA Traffic Safety
Foundation (TSF) – a non-profit organization focusing solely on traffic safety
initiatives.

“The results of this year’s child seat inspections are astounding and
clearly demonstrate the need for more education on the proper use of safety
devices,” said John R

Connect with Autos.ca