Child Car Seats - The Law As It Stands in Ireland

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Car Seat Safety Ireland

Child Car Seat Safety Regulations in Ireland


All children under 150cms in height or 36kgs (79lbs) in weight must use a child restraint system (CRS) suitable for their height and weight while travelling in a car or goods vehicle (other than a taxi).

Child Car Seats - The Law As It Stands in Ireland

Rearward Facing Child Seat


 
Rear-facing child car seats must not be used in passenger seats protected by an active frontal airbag. An airbag which deploys (opens up) in front of a rearward-facing child car seat can cause serious injury or even death if there is a collision.

Drivers can now receive at least 3 penalty points on their driving licences if they place a rearward-facing child car seat in the front where there is an active airbag. Drivers have a legal responsibility to ensure that all passengers under 17 are appropriately restrained in the vehicle.

Weight

  • For babies up to 13kgs (29lbs)

Approximate Age Range

  • Birth to 12-15 months

Rearward-facing seats provide greater protection for the baby’s head, neck and spine than forward facing seats. So, it is best to keep your baby in a rearward-facing seat for as long as possible.

Only move them to a forward-facing seat once they have exceeded the maximum weight for the baby seat, or the top of their head is higher than the top of the seat

Child Car Seats

Forward Facing Child Seat


 

Weight

  • 9-18kgs (20-40lbs)

Approximate Age Range

  • 9 months - 4 years

Only move your child to a forward facing seat once they have exceeded the maximum weight for their rearward-facing seat, or the top of their head is higher than the top of the seat.

Mother Adjusting Child Car Seat

Booster Seat

Weight

  • 15-25kgs (33-55lbs)

Approximate Age Range

  • 4-6 years

Booster Seat Safety

Some booster seats are designed to be converted into a booster cushion by detaching the backrest.

Booster Cushion

Booster Seat

Weight

  • 22-36kgs (48-79lbs)

Approximate Age Range

  • 6-11/12 years

Booster cushions do not have an integral harness to hold the child in place. The adult seat belt goes around the child and the seat. So it is important that the seat belt is correctly adjusted.

Children in Front Seats

 

"There is no law against children sitting in the front seat, as long as they are using the right child restraint for their height and weight. 

However, as above it is illegal to use a rearward-facing child car seat in a passenger seat protected by an airbag. The deployment of an airbag where a rearward–facing baby seat is in place can cause serious injury to the child or even death." - RSA

(some vehicles have the option to deactivate the front passenger airbag)

It should be noted, though, that children should always travel in the back of the car and away from any active airbags and the dashboard.

Taxis

Taxi drivers are exempt from supplying child car seats.

Taxis continue to be exempt from having to carry child car seats or restraints for child passengers despite the introduction of penalty-points for all other drivers.

Legislation in relation to taxi drivers is governed by the European Commission’s (compulsory use of seatbelts and child restraint systems in motor vehicles) regulations 2006, which allows for exemptions.

Infants under three years of age can be carried on a back seat of a taxi by an adult as long as that adult is wearing a seatbelt.

A child who is older than three years of age does not need to be in a car seat if travelling in a taxi, but they must wear a seatbelt and not be in the passenger seat.

Taxis are exempt because it is seen as not practical for them to carry bulky car seats in the eventuality that they have to pick up passengers with children. Car seats in taxis would take up valuable luggage space for most taxis users.

Child Car Seat Safety

Offence

It is now an offence, carrying between 2-4 penalty points, for a motorist to permit a child under three to travel in a car without appropriate restraint.

Motorists will also be subject to penalty points if children under 12 are not in an appropriate car seat.

The car seat penalty points offences were introduced to clamp down on motorists who persist in not using seatbelts.

Weigh your child to find out what type of seat would suit them  

Different kinds of child car seats

  • know the new law on child car seats New EU child safety protection laws have come into force making it compulsory for all children to travel in the correct child seat, booster seat or booster cushion
  • Where safety belts have been fitted they must be worn
  • Children under 3 years of age must not travel in a car or goods vehicle (other than a taxi) unless restrained in the correct child seat
  • Children aged 3 years or over who are under 150cms in height and weighing less than 36 kilograms (i.e. generally children up to 11/12 years old) must use the correct child seat, booster seat or booster cushion when travelling in cars or goods vehicles
  • Children over 3 years of age must travel in a rear seat in vehicles not fitted with safety belts
  • Rearward-facing child car seats must NEVER be used in the front passenger seat of cars with an active airbag
  • Child car seats must be in accordance with EU or United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN-ECE) standards

Drivers have a legal responsibility to ensure passengers aged under 17 use the correct seat, booster seat, booster cushion or seat belt

You can learn more about child car seats by visiting www.rsa.ie/childsafetyincars, reading the ‘CHILD SAFETY IN CARSbooklet or watching the ‘CHILD SAFETY IN CARS’ DVD.

Both the booklet and DVD are available FREE to order online at www.rsa.ie/childsafetyincars

Infant in car seat

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