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Seatbelts & Childseats
Transcript of Seatbelts & Childseats
All occupants of a campervan or motorhome must wear a seatbelt or use a child restraint.
The fine for anyone not wearing a safety belt is $150. Points to consider Introduction Children under 5 years old:
must be restrained by a child restraint
Children 5 to 7 years:
must use a child restraint if available
if no child restraint, must use a safety belt
Children 8 to 14 years:
must use safety belts
People over 14 years:
drivers and passengers must wear safety belts A rental campervan or motorhome must have a fitted seatbelt for every occupant/sleeping berth.
The driver seat and front outer passenger seats must have 3-point (lap and diagonal) retractor safety belts.
A front middle seat (if fitted) must have a safety belt, ideally a 3-point, but a lapbelt is legally acceptable.
Any forward and/or rear-facing seats in the rear of the campervan must have a minimum of lap-belts, ideally 3-point safety belts.
Any sideways-facing seats can ONLY have lap-belts, never 3-point belts.
The campervan must display a prominent notice explaining the use of safety belts. Newborn babies and infants (less than 1 year or 12kg/26lbs) need to be rear-facing to spread crash forces over their backs and prevent their head from snapping forwards. All 'capsule-style' or 'bassinet' seats must ONLY be used rear-facing.
Rear-facing baby seats can never be used in the front passenger seat if there is an airbag (unless it can be de-activated). Children are unlikely to correctly fit a seatbelt until they are 1.48m/4'9" tall.
Booster seats are ideal for children too large for a 5-point harness carseat/capsule, but too small to correctly fit the seatbelts fitted. Booster seats can be 'convertable' (includes a harness), 'full-back' or 'half-seat' types.
A booster seat with a back and side 'wings' is useful if your child sleeps while travelling.
Booster seats must ONLY be used with 3-point lap-and-diagonal fitted seatbelts. Forward-facing booster seat uses the fitted 3-point safety belt. The rear-facing 'capsule' has an integral 5-point harness. Child restraints certified for use in New Zealand should show an "S" mark (NZ Standard 1754) in a yellow diamond or on a rectangular sticker.
There is also a joint New Zealand-Australian Standard that has a sticker with five 'ticks'. Every childseat has a Manufacture Date on it. They have a limited life-span. Never buy/sell/hire a seat more than 10 years old. Your Rented Campervan Each rental company uses a range of different vehicle models, each with different seating configurations. Make sure you understand what you have rented.
When you book you should be shown or told what the seating configuration is - they may use a diagram like this ....
This 4-berth campervan has driver, passenger
and two rear, 3-point safety belts. It is ideal
for families as the rear passengers are close to
those up-front and all have 3-point safety belts.
Both rear seats also have babyseat harness points.
All camervan rental companies have childseats available for hire. Ask them what type they are, how old they are, and to which seats they can be securely attached. If bringing your own, know where and how they will be fitted. Consider the following:
If bringing your own childseat or capsule, check with your airline where they must be carried (carry-on or stowed).
Also, make sure you know where and how your child restraints will fit in your rental vehicle.
When you collect your campervan: check all seatbelts are working (retracting) correctly.
Satisfy yourself all childseats and capsules are correctly fitted and secured to the appropriate seats and facing the correct way.
Consider if you can see your baby or child(ren) from your seat and if they can see you whilst travelling - can you reach them without removing your seatbelt? The need to install a properly fitted child car safety seat is demonstrated by this video from the UK's Automobile Association showing what could happen in a car crash. This is where you would usually find the fun part - but we didn't want you to forget what a serious thing safety belts and child restraints are - so, we offer you this instead .... All material © 2010 Sarah Alexander/Daniel Cox/Sussex Safer Roads Partnership