Lesson in Buckling Up; Parents Urged to Check Child Restraint Laws to Protect Precious Cargo

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Owen chris.owen@qtcn.com.au

SILKSTONE mum Rochelle Caloon always believed she was abiding by the law when she buckled up her younger son Dodge into the car.

But an unexpected lesson in Queenslandas latest child restraint laws soon changed all that.

The 38-year-old mother of two said she had sometimes allowed her four-year-old to be strapped up without the booster seat.

But as her older son Bradley pointed out, Queensland legislation requires children aged four to seven to be secured in an approved child restraint.

Mrs Caloon said her 16-year-old son had just completed his L-plate test and had been made aware of the road rule through studying for his licence. Until then, the hair salon owner said she had been oblivious of the regulation, which was introduced by the State Government in March, 2010.

aWhen Bradley was Dodgeas age, I remember four-year-old children were allowed to travel in the front,a she said. aBut now they have to be restrained in the child safety seat at all times.a

Mrs Caloon isnat the only parent unaware of current child restraint laws. A recent study by NRMA Insurance revealed one in five Queensland parents did not know of the latest restraint regulations for children under seven.

The study also highlighted that many parents were not using restraints correctly, or checking them often enough.

It also showed one in 10 parents never checked or adjusted the harness around their child before a car trip, and that many were unaware car restraints should be replaced every 10 years. …