Most parents are endangering their children because they are not using, or fail to correctly fit, child seats.
What Car? found that 65% of parents had not fitted their child seats properly, while only 35% of parents knew the specifics of new child seat laws that aim to prevent more than 2000 child fatalities or injuries a year.
The law about children and car seats changed on the 18th September. All children must use a child seat up to their 12th birthday or when they reach 135cms in height.
What Car? editor Steve Fowler said: "Nobody would knowingly put their children at risk, which is why we find it hard to believe how ill-informed parents are about how to fit child seats correctly. Parents need to take more responsibility for the safety of their children in cars".
The Government this year spent £600,000 on a publicity campaign to tell parents about the new laws but it appears the message just hasn’t gotten through
"If the Government is serious about its new legislation it should step up its publicity with television advertising so all parents are clear about the new laws", added Steve Fowler.
Under the new laws the driver of the vehicle is the person responsible for the safety of their infant passengers and could be liable for a £30 fixed penalty or face a £500 fine if the case goes to court.
You can buy a booster seat for as little as £10. Many shops have trained advisers who can help you choose the right seat for your car. So take your child along and explain why it’s such an important buy for the Christmas Holidays. It could be the best £10 you ever spend.