Newfoundland parents: are you ready for the new booster-seat law?

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GUELPH, ON, June 25, 2008 – A new law mandating booster seats for children until their ninth birthday becomes effective on July 1 in Newfoundland and Labrador. The legislation applies to children riding in cars, trucks, taxis, vehicles used by day cares, and some school contract vehicles.

According to the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association, children who travel in child restraint seats are 90 per cent less likely to die in a vehicle crash. They’re also 75 per cent less likely to suffer serious injuries if the seats are correctly installed and appropriate for their height, weight and development.

Provincial legislation requires that infants and toddlers use child car seats that meet Canadian standards until they weigh 18 kg (40 lbs.).

As of July 1, parents and caregivers in the province will also face tickets of $115 and two demerit points if their children are not properly restrained in booster seats. Booster seats are for kids who have outgrown car seats but are too young or too small to use a regular seat belt. They position the child safely to avoid injuries from lap and shoulder belts that are designed for taller adults.

The new law makes booster seats mandatory for children who:

  • have not reached their ninth birthday;
  • weigh 18 to 37 kg (40 to 81 lbs.); and
  • are less than 145 cm (4’9″) tall.

To help keep kids safe, The Co-operators holds free Buckle Up Bears car-seat clinics in a number of communities in Newfoundland and throughout Canada. Last year, trained inspectors installed nearly 900 child and booster seats, and helped educate drivers on their proper use.

“Proper installation of children’s seats is more complicated than some people realize. In fact, more than 85 per cent of the seats inspected at our clinics last year were improperly installed,” says Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators. “Our car-seat inspectors can help make sure your little ones are protected.”

The Co-operators is donating 30 booster seats to low-income families in Newfoundland and Labrador to help them comply with the new legislation. In an effort to empower Canadian parents, caregivers, and educators, The Co-operators, in partnership with the Infant and Toddler Safety Association, recently released an instructional DVD titled “Child Seat Safety Check.” It provides advice on selecting and installing car seats, and offers the most up-to-date information on child restraints available.

To order a DVD free of charge, e-mail [email protected]

About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators is a group of Canadian companies offering home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial, and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators Group Limited is a 100 per cent Canadian-owned co-operative. It is owned by a group of Canadian co-operatives, credit union centrals, and like-minded organizations. For more information, visit www.cooperators.ca.