Highway Code law that experts warn could land you with a £500 fine - LancsLive

2022-06-07 07:12:04 By : Ms. Molly He

The Highway Code rules state children should remain in a car seat until they are 12 or 135 centimetres tall - whichever comes first

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Motorists who carry their own children - or someone else's - in their vehicle are being urged to be aware of safety rules which carry a fine of up to £500 if broken.

The Highway Code stipulates that children should remain in a car seat until they are 12 or 135 centimetres tall - whichever comes first. They should also not move to a booster seat until they reach the maximum size or weight for a car seat.

Experts at CarMats.co.uk have urged parents to make their children a priority by following the laws surrounding child car seats. The fixed penalty for a driver or passenger failing to wear a seat belt is a £100 fine, although if the case is taken to court, fines could increase to £500.

READ MORE: Important Highway Code changes drivers need to know

The weight-based measurements for car and booster seats are below:

Lie-flat or ‘lateral’ baby carrier, rear-facing baby carrier, or rear-facing baby seat using a harness

Rear-facing baby carrier or rear-facing baby seat using a harness

Rear- or forward-facing baby seat using a harness or safety shield

Rear- or forward-facing child car seat (high-backed booster seat or booster cushion) using a seat belt, harness or safety shield

Rear- or forward-facing child car seat (high-backed booster seat or booster cushion) using a seat belt, harness or safety shield

Common car seat mistakes include not ensuring the seat is fitted correctly. If a car seat seems excessively loose this could mean it hasn't been installed properly. Similarly, if a child is wearing a bulky coat this can reduce the effectiveness of the seat and mean the seatbelt isn't fitted snugly enough against the child.

A simple way to check if the seatbelt is tight enough is to place your fingers on the harness, where it rests on your child’s collarbone. If the strap material can be pinched together and folded, then this means the harness is too loose. Adjust the strap so the material can no longer be pinched together.

Children should remain in a rear-facing seat - the safest position - until they are 15 months old or 13kg in weight. Rear-facing seats protect a child's neck, head and spine which are especially vulnerable in a collision.

Parents should monitor the harness strap height according to their child’s shoulders. In rear-facing seats, the straps should come through the car seat slots below or at the same level as their shoulders. Whereas on forward-facing seats, the straps should be above or at the same level as the shoulders.

The general rule is that children over four can ride in a booster seat, however, this is on a case-by-case basis. Even when your child reaches that age, if they can’t stay still in their seat, it may be worth keeping them in a child seat for longer.

Parents should always consult the installation leaflet, or safety advice, supplied with a car or booster seat. If it has been fitted by an installer, such as Halfords, you can always visit your nearest store to ask for advice.