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1 March 2006 PR 06/18

Loughborough University welcomes new child car safety regulations

Investigators at Loughborough University’s Vehicle Safety Research Centre (VSRC) say new regulations governing the use of child car seats will save lives.

The Department for Transport recently released information about the new law, which is due to come into force in September. It will impose tighter restrictions on how children must be restrained when travelling in vehicles.

The VSRC is involved in national and European funded research programmes to investigate the safety of children in car, minibus and coach crashes. Its work has played a key part in the development of the new regulations.

Research and analysis of accident data by the VSRC team make it clear that children are better protected in an appropriate child restraint, such as a rearward facing infant carrier, child seat, booster seat or booster cushion, than using only the adult seat belt.

They have concluded that currently children move too soon from one restraint to the next or to an adult seat belt, the consequences of which are unnecessary, serious and sometimes fatal injuries. Rachel Grant, Manager of Child Safety Research at the VSRC said: “This new law makes clear how children should be restrained in vehicles, on the basis of existing knowledge and best practice, and is a positive contribution to child safety.

“It is welcomed by those of us who regularly see the tragic consequences of children not being correctly restrained in vehicles. We are pleased that our work at Loughborough University has contributed to this new legislation.”

In summary the new requirements, set out in EC Directive 2003/20/EC, are that:

Ends

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Notes to editors

  1. Information on the new Child Car Seat Regulations, due to come into force in September 2006, can be found on the Department for Transport web site at www.dft.gov.uk

  2. Information about the work of the VSRC can be found at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/research/esri/

  3. VSRC is responsible for accident investigation in the European funded CHILD project, details of which can be found at www.childincarsafety.org

  4. Loughborough has an established reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement. Assessments of teaching quality by the Quality Assurance Agency place it in the top flight of UK universities; the National Student Survey ranked Loughborough equal first among full-time students; and industry highlights the University in its top five for graduate recruitment. Around 40% of Loughborough’s income is for research, and 60% for teaching. The University has been awarded five Queen's Anniversary Prizes: for its collaboration with aerospace and automotive companies such as BAE Systems, Ford and Rolls Royce; for its work in developing countries; for pioneering research in optical engineering; for its world-leading role in sports research, education and development; and for its outstanding work in evaluating and helping to develop social policy-related programmes.

    In 2006 Loughborough celebrates the 40th anniversary of its University Charter, awarded on 19 April 1966 in recognition of the excellence achieved by Loughborough College of Advanced Technology and its predecessor Colleges. Loughborough University of Technology was renamed Loughborough University in 1996.

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