Halton Regional Police Service
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Media Release

Release Date: June 6th, 2019 - 2:11pm

Originator: Sergeant, Ryan Snow, Traffic Services Unit, 905-878-5511 x5245

Contact: Sergeant, Ryan Snow, Traffic Services Unit, 905-878-5511 x5245

Location: Halton Hills


Halton Hills Car Seat Inspection Clinics Reveal High Failure Rate

Drivers in Acton and Georgetown hitting the road on Saturday morning may have found a 9 am police spot check a little out of place. But while RIDE enforcement occurs at all hours, on May 4th in Acton and this past Saturday in Georgetown, police were in fact looking for car seats.

Working under the banner of the Halton Partners for Car Seat Safety (HPCSS), the Halton Regional Police Service, the Halton Region Health Department, Halton Hills Fire, Ontario Provincial Police and numerous volunteers stage these periodic clinics. The clinics are educational opportunities for people who transport children in car seats to access trained technicians to help identify and fix car seat installation issues.  The authority to conduct car seat inspections is found within the Highway Traffic Act, which stipulates that car seats, when occupied, constitute part of the vehicle's equipment.

In total, the two clinics conducted a total of 431 'quick check' inspections with 175 motorists identified as requiring a full inspection to address more advanced issues.

Results:

Booster Seats:  50% fail rate (compared to 35% region wide in 2017)

Car Seats:         66% fail rate (compared to 64% region wide in 2017)

Aside from the usual loose or twisted straps, some of the more notable concerns identified include:

  • Numerous untethered forward facing car seats;
  • An alarming trend where parents are prematurely moving their children out of a booster seat;
  • A perception that in-town driving is less risky than driving on a highway; and
  • A number of U.S. car seats being used (not allowed in Canada).

"Parents and other adults who transport children should take great interest in this trend of high failure rates" noted Sgt Ryan Snow of the Traffic Services Unit.  "All of these identified concerns & misconceptions have the potential to jeopardize a child's safety in the event of a motor vehicle collision.  Similar to adults requiring an airbag and seatbelt to work in conjunction with each other, children require a properly fitted & installed car seat to be afforded maximum protection."

Halton Police would like to remind all drivers that when transporting any child, the driver is legally responsible for the safety of the child and the installation of the car seat, even if the vehicle is borrowed.  Charges can include fines, demerit points and court appearances. 

Despite rules & regulations however, safety needs to be about protecting children – our most vulnerable road users.

Halton motorists are urged to visit 'Haltonparents' on Facebook or to contact the Region of Halton by dialling 311 to locate trained car seat resources in their community.