New Backless Carseat Boosters Laws In 2017
If you have a young child, it might be that you own what is called a ‘backless’ booster seat. Backless booster seats, also known as booster cushions, are just as they sound, a small booster seat cushion that children car sit on in order for the seatbelt in a car to fit them better. You may have seen a lot of posts on social media about these types of seats recently too, about law changes and the fact they may become illegal. So we have carried out some research for you to clear up exactly what is changing so you know where you stand.
At present, children weighing 15kg, which they hit at about 3 years of age, are legally allowed to transfer from an infant’s car seat to a backless booster seat. But that’s all about to change. There is a new law coming into place that means that small children will no longer be able to use these type of seats. The change will mean that only children weighing more than 22kg and taller than 125cm will be able to use them. Which is about the age of 11-12 years.
It was originally anticipated that the new rules would come into place in December of this year, but this has now changed. The rule changes are now expected to come into effect in March 2017.
The changes mean that younger children will now need to travel in a high back booster seat once they have outgrown their infant seat. These seats have booster cushions but also have high backs that allow extended head, neck and shoulder protection. They also have seat belt guides, to position the car’s seat belt into a much better position for young children.
Who Will This Affect And Why?
It’s important to point out that this law change will only affect people purchasing new booster seats after this date, so if you have an existing one in your car then you will still be able to use it. But, and this is a big BUT, high back booster seats are viewed as much, much safer for children and there is very strong evidence to back this up. So we at TestDrives2U highly recommend you consider changing to a high back booster seat regardless.
This very compelling video from Sunday Times Driving and Britax shows the difference between a backless booster and high back booster and is actually pretty scary to watch. You can see the huge difference between the two types of car seats and the safety impact it has on a child.
If you have an existing backless booster seat the law changes will not affect you. If you are purchasing a new booster seat for your child after March 2017 and your child is less than 22kg or 125cm you will need to purchase a high back booster car seat for them. However, we highly recommend – as does the independent test company Which? that all young children use a high back booster seat for added safety, irrespective of law changes.