Child Car Seat Rules Nz
The NZ Transport Agency continues to work with its child safety partners and other agencies to promote the changes to parents, caregivers and other organisations (such as primary schools) that work with children in the affected age group.
The government acknowledges that any extension to the child restraint requirements will impose increased costs on parents and caregivers for the purchase or hiring of additional child restraints. For this reason the government decided not to extend the criteria to children up to a standing height of 148cm in height or up to 11 years of age. Extending the mandatory use of child restraints to children up to 7 years is a pragmatic balance between improving road safety outcomes for child passengers and managing the size of the additional financial burden on parents and caregivers.
All child restraints must meet an approved standard. This ensures a restraint's design and construction are laboratory tested under crash conditions and provide the best protection when used according to manufacturer’s instructions.
The death rate of New Zealand children aged 0 to 14 years in motor vehicle crashes is worse than 17 of 29 other countries that contribute data to the OECD’s International Road and Traffic Accident Database. In 2011 there were around 1.2 deaths per 100,000 population for 0 to 14 year olds in motor vehicle crashes in New Zealand. By comparison, the United Kingdom recorded 05 deaths per 100,000 population. There is considerable room for improvement in the death rate of children in motor vehicle crashes in New Zealand.
Based on an 80 percent compliance rate with booster seat requirements, it is estimated that extending the criteria to children up to 11 years of age would cost $10.44 million in the first year and $19.52 million over the first 10 years.
Best practice advice, based on international reasearch, indicates that to achieve the optimal level of restraint protection, children under a standing height of 148cm need to use an appropriate child restraint. This is the approximate height of a 10 to 11 year old child.
Note that the driver of a passenger service vehicle, such as a bus or taxi, is not legally responsible for ensuring safety belts are used (if fitted). However if an appropriate child restraint is available in the vehicle then that taxi driver is responsible for ensuring that a child under seven is restrained in it (the same as any other driver).
While age requirements for the use of child restraints vary from state to state, all states require them to be used. The one accepted standard for a child restraints throughout Australia is the joint Australia/New Zealand standard AS/NZS 1754.
The Ministry looked at what overseas jurisdictions are doing and also considered New Zealand evidence on child restraint usage and injuries from crashes. Proposals were subject to a transport Rule consultation process run by the NZ Transport Agency that closed on 3 April 2013.
The law has been amended to extend the criteria for mandatory use of child restraints to child passengers up to 7 years of age. Children aged 7 years are required to use an appropriate child restraint if one is available.