The Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2004 has been amended to increase the mandatory requirement for child restraint use to child passengers aged up to seven years.

The change will come into force on 1 November and gives parents and caregivers over four months to purchase appropriate child restraints for children who may have stopped using them.

“It’s important that children are appropriately restrained in order to reduce the potential trauma suffered in the event of a crash”, says the Ministry’s Land Transport Safety Manager, Leo Mortimer.

International research recommends that child passengers use an age appropriate restraint (commonly a booster seat) until they are old enough and/or tall enough to fit a vehicle seat and seatbelt.

“While the rule change means all child passengers up to seven years of age have to use an age appropriate restraint, parents and caregivers can encourage older children to keep using their booster seats until they fit a seatbelt”, said Mr Mortimer.

It remains the driver’s responsibility to ensure that any child under the age of 15 years travelling in their vehicle is appropriately restrained.

The NZ Transport Agency will work with its child safety partners to promote the changes to parents and caregivers. More information about the rule change can be found on NZ Transport Agency’s website link)

Read Minister Woodhouse’s media statement(external link).

Considering regulatory interventions and education to improve restraint use was an action in the Safer Journeys Action Plan 2011-2012(external link) (PDF, 693kb).


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