Child Restraints

Reporter: David Eccleston

The advanced child safety testing facility at Volvo headquarters Gothemberh Sweden - the acknowledged leader in safety systems since they invented the seat belt in 1959 and the child restraint five years later. Every year dozens of Australian children are killed unnecessarily because of poorly fitted or outdated child restraints. Australian authorities have failed to meet worlds best practice child safety standards in Sweden. They use Isofix - an advanced new standard in restraints. The death toll; 5 in almost 5 decades. Australian regulators know the numbers - so why is it banned in Australia.

The Isofix design is standard on all new cars built in Europe, USA and Asia - but not in Australia.Under new laws in Australia - after six months of age a child can be placed in a forward facing child restraint. Volvo experts agree, a child should be rewared facing until the age of 3 or 4. 2 out of three Australian parents don't fit their restraints correctly - vastly increasing the risk of serious injury. Also under new regulations, a child aged as young as 7 can travel in a passenger seat using an adult seatbelt.

Lotta Jakobsson is the chair person for International Standard and head of child safety at Volvo and is adamant a child must be at least 140 cms - the average 10 or 11 year old before an adult seatbelt should be used..Noel Broadhead is responsible for putting child safety laws on the national radar - his 6 year old daughter Isabelle was tragically killed in a low speed crash, she sustained massive internal injuries from an adult seatbelt.

Our experts agree the new Australian laws are an improvement but haven't gone far enough to protect our most vulnerable passengers.

If you've had a problem with child restraints, send us an email: tt@7perth.com.au