Children under three must now be in car seats

2014-11-14 00:00

BY April next year, expectant parents shopping around for a car seat will not only have to worry about purchasing the leading brand, but whether it meets the safety standards.

The amended regulations to the National Road Traffic Act published in the Government Gazette states that infants up to three-years-old must be transported in a car seat when travelling in private vehicles. The regulation is expected to come into effect in April 2015.

Explaining the regulation, the Automobile Association’s Marius Luyt said the legislator has also added another clause that states: “The driver of a motor vehicle operated on a public road shall ensure that an infant travelling in such motor vehicle is seated on an appropriate child restraint: Provided this provision shall not apply in a case of a minibus, midibus or bus operating for reward.”

Luyt said this implies that it is now compulsory for motorists to have child restraints that are in compliance with the SABS in their motor vehicles for children under the age of three years.

Sales experts said Safeway, Bambino, Chicco, Graco, Maxi-Cosi and Peg Perego were among the leading brands in South Africa, but they are expensive.

Nikita Kistnasamy, a sales assistant at Baby City in the Pavilion shopping centre, said: “Our cheapest car seat at the moment is the Safeway, which goes for R419,99. It is a basic infant car seat with a normal three-point safety harness. It is the only car seat in the Safeway range that loads up to 10 kg. Then we have the Maxi-Cosi Axiss, which costs about R4 599. It revolves 360 degrees, loads about nine to 18 kilograms and can face forward.”

Car seat expert Mohamed Kaka from Brands Africa said: “There are two safety standards and South Africa complies to the European standards governed by the UN. The minimum safety standards are called ECE R4404, but last year new safety standards called I-Size were adopted,” said Kaka.

There are three types of car seats. An infant car seat that is designed for 0 to 15 months is a rear-facing seat. Once your child outgrows the infant seat they can use a toddler seat that is designed for children who are 15 months up to three-and-a-half years. This is a forward-facing seat with a five-point safety harness. The last one is for children above three and anything up to nine years old.

Peggie Mars from Wheel Well, a non-profit organisation that collects and redistributes child car seats, said the new regulations were highly significant.

“Prior to now, children under the age of three were not mentioned in the act and now they will be protected. But I hope the act will be treated with necessary compassion, bearing in mind that not everyone can afford a car seat.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.