Valeska Moore, of Green Island, secures her daughter
Cassidy (7) in a booster seat. Photo by Linda Robertson.
New child restraint laws have been well received by
Taieri parents and Plunket.
Dunedin Plunket car seat co-ordinator Tonia Scoullar said
that the law change was ''doing very, very well''.
''People are really catching on to it.''
The new laws have been in place since November 1, and require
all children under the age of 7 to sit in a booster seat
while travelling in a vehicle.
If the child is 7, a booster seat is recommended, but if one
is not available, the child must be restrained by a seatbelt.
The new laws also recommend that children under the height of
148cm remain in a booster seat, regardless of their age.
Previously, children up to the age of 5 had been required to
sit in a booster seat.
Mrs Scoullar said booster seats allowed the seatbelt to sit
correctly around the neck and shoulders, without the child
pulling at it or slipping their arm out.
Much like adult seatbelt laws, parents caught without having
their child under the age of 7 secured in a booster seat
could receive a fine of up to $150.
Mrs Scoullar said the law change did seem to take a while,
however, was very happy with the decision.
''I would have liked to have seen it pushed further than 7,
but it is definitely a good start.''
Green Island resident Valeska Moore said she ''definitely''
agreed with the law change and sits her daughter Cassidy (7)
in a booster seat when travelling by car.
Although Cassidy is ''quite tall'', she said she would
continue to keep her in the booster seat for safety, even
though she was 7.
All booster seats sold in New Zealand are approved, and can
be bought from the not-for-profit Plunket organisation or
various baby stores.
Mrs Scoullar said booster seats sold from Plunket ranged
between $90 and $150 and they had ''sold quite a few'' since
the new law came into action.
In conjunction with ACC and Plunket, community services
card-holders can buy booster seats for $50 if their child is
legally required to use one.
- Bridget Rutherford