Child Car Seat Rules Ireland
Research into car passenger fatalities from 1996 to 2012 shows that of the 262 children who lost their lives, almost one third were found not to have been correctly using a child restraint or safety belt.
Children over 3 years of age may occupy a forward facing front seat of a vehicle only if they are using a safety belt or an appropriate child restraint. Otherwise, they must travel in a rear seat. Children under 150 centimetres in height and weighing less than 36 kilograms (generally children up to 11/12 years old) must use the correct child seat or booster cushion.
There is a fixed penalty fine of £60 and three penalty points for not using the right child restraint. If the case goes to court this could increase to a maximum fine of £500 for any occupant anywhere in the car.
These are for babies weighing up to 13kg, normally from birth to 12-15 months. They can be used in the front or rear of the car but it is generally safer to fit them in the rear. Never, ever put these baby seats in the front passenger seat if there is a passenger airbag.
Group 0 – rearward facing baby seat – birth to 10kg (or 13kg for ‘0+’) Group 1 – rearward or forward facing child seat – 9-18kg Group 2 – high-backed booster seat without harness – 15-25kg Group 3 – booster cushion – 22-36kg
Regulation 44 seats will be phased out over time and replaced with Regulation 129 seats. Until then, seats manufactured to either standard are safe and perfectly legal so long as they are used properly.
Every year too many children are killed or seriously injured on the roads – often because they are not properly restrained when travelling in a car. So make sure you understand the law and give your child the best possible protection.
Even if you are a responsible parent and you believe your kids to be properly restrained, it’s well worth revisiting the rules and guidelines, as the RSA claims that as many as four out of five child car seats are incorrectly fitted.
The short answer is yes. Children must use an appropriate child car seat if they’re under 150cm in height or weigh less than 36 kg (generally children up to 11/12 years of age). It’s the driver’s legal responsibility to ensure all passengers aged under 17 are appropriately restrained, whether they’re your own kids or others. Only taxi drivers are exempt.
Parents of a few kids might make it look second nature to take seats in and out of cars in the blink of an eye, but it takes a while to get good at doing it properly. It’s highly advisable to buy a car seat from a retailer that has trained personnel on hand to show you how to fit the seat properly in the car. Make sure you practise taking the seat in and out for yourself and read the manual carefully to ensure you understand the process.