Children up to 135cm tall (around 4'5") or the age of 12 - whichever comes first - who are travelling in cars, vans or other goods vehicles must travel in the correct child restraint.
New child car seat rules from 1 March 2017
On 1 March 2017 new rules on how backless booster seats are made will be introduced. The new rules mean that manufacturers are prevented from introducing new models of backless booster seats for children shorter than 125cm (4 foot 10 in) or weighing less than 22kg (3 stone 5lbs).
Existing seats not affected by new rules
The changes will only apply to new booster seats. The changes will not include booster seats already on the market which conform to the United Nations standard, ECE Regulation 44.04 (or R 44.03) or to the new i-size regulation, R129. These can be found on the orange label on the seat showing a capital "E" in a circle.
People using booster cushions which comply with the existing regulations will not be breaking the law if they continue to use them after 1 March 2017 for children weighing 15 kg (2st 4lb) or more.
There is no requirement to buy a new booster seat to meet the rule change. The responsibility falls on manufacturers of new booster seats to ensure they meet the revised safety standards and are labelled correctly.
Why is the law changing?
Child car seat experts say that backless booster cushions are unsuitable for small children as the child is not held as securely in the seat as they would be in a booster seat with a back. Additionally, the adult seatbelt is not guided across their body in the best way and they offer little protection if a car is involved in a side-on crash.
Child car seat safety guide
We’ve partnered with Good Egg Safety to provide an online guide to in-car child safety.
Experts from Good Egg Safety have produced a guide to help with the facts around getting the correct car seat for babies, toddlers and children.
The guide offers tips on choosing the right child car seat, correct fitting, legislation, common errors and much more.