Monday, September 18, 2006

To boost or not to boost?

Chaotic first day for new law.

From today children under the age of twelve and anyone less than 135 cm. tall are required to be securely seated in the rear of your car using an approved child safety seat or booster seat.picture of child car seat It's part of a European standardisation and is aimed at reducing the amount of injuries to children and young people in car crashes where the position of the adult seat belt causes internal injuries to major body organs (because it is designed to fit an adult rather than a child.)

With this in mind I mulled over the fact that I had thrown away the booster seat used by Junior Curly just two months ago, because I felt he was tall enough to benefit from an adult seat belt (but this was before some Eurocrat introduced meddling fingers.) So I decided it was time to measure his height to see if he would comply with the new legislation - ahh, exactly 135 cm. - with his shoes on! Would this be good enough, or would an over zealous policeman insist on measure his height sans shoes?

Well, having read that I could be fined a 30 pound fixed penalty, or 500 pounds if the case went to court, I decided to err on the side of caution and go and purchase a new booster seat. Easier said than done, you go and find one this week! Halfords, Asda, Mothercare, Bills Autos, various online suppliers, all sold out and none prepared to commit themselves on a date for new supplies. I bumped into other parents hurredly searching for booster seats too, all anxious not to be breaking the law, but you cannot even buy them! So what do I do now?

One would have thought that these retailers would have stockpiled child safety seats in advance of the big rush, or promoted them constantly over the past six months in advance of the new legislation taking effect today.

This law of course is a complete ass, my child looks the correct height and weight until he takes his shoes off, some nine year olds are larger in all dimensions, some thirteen year olds hardly reach four feet tall yet are deemed safe under the law! What a mish mash!

So until seats become available again I will have to take a risk and unilaterally declare that Junior is exactly 135 cm. tall. Of course when seats do become available again he will have grown past the target height! Damned if I don't and damned if I do!


The Times Online

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