Harper Government Stalls and Delays Child Seat Safety Legislation for Another Year

Update:

See the following news release from Transport Canada.

Chuck Strahl, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, who it is rumoured will soon by stepping down from the Harper government, made the announcement below.

No. H138/10
For release – December 2, 2010

THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA ANNOUNCES A 12-MONTH EXTENSION FOR CHILD SEAT REGULATIONS

OTTAWA — The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced an extension to December 31, 2011, of the transition period for the Motor Vehicle Restraint Systems and Booster Seats Safety Regulations. The original implementation date was January 1, 2011.

“The safety of children is very important to our government,” said Minister Strahl. “The use of child seats is paramount for child safety in the event of a collision, and this extension will help ensure that there will be a sufficient selection and quantity of child seats available in the marketplace for Canadian consumers.”

The Government of Canada has consulted with child seat manufacturers and is providing a 12-month extension period to allow them additional time to complete the redesign testing and certification of their child seats to conform to the new Motor Vehicle Restraint Systems and Booster Seats Safety Regulations. Until December 31, 2011, manufacturers will have the option of producing products that meet either the new or the current regulatory requirements.

Current child car seat requirements have provided a high level of safety for children for many years and will continue to provide excellent protection throughout the useful life of the child seats.

Parents should be aware that there is no need to replace a child seat unless it was installed in a vehicle involved in a collision. However, parents should check the expiry date of the seat and be sure to replace it when it reaches that date. If the shell or materials on the seat are torn or damaged, the seat should be replaced.

The new regulations are part of a regular process of reviewing and updating child safety standards while using the most up-to-date technology available for testing. In addition, these regulations were rewritten to harmonize some elements with the U.S. and to incorporate new and unique Canadian testing requirements. The major issues being addressed are:

  • a new testing requirement using a three-point seat belt to secure car seats in vehicles;
  • changes to dynamic testing of car seats to adopt most of the U.S. testing parameters, including using the U.S. acceleration corridor and performance criteria;
  • an increase in the maximum allowable weight limit of child seats from 22 kg to 30 kg;
  • an increase in the maximum allowable weight limit of infant seats from 9 kg to 10 kg;
  • the introduction of dynamic testing requirements for booster seats; and
  • the allowance of harnesses to be used on school buses for special needs children.

On May 12, 2010, the Government of Canada published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, amendments to the Motor Vehicle Restraint Systems and Booster Seats Safety Regulations, which would have become mandatory on January 1, 2011. At that time, the regulations included a transition period that allowed manufacturers to certify their products to either the previous requirements or the new child restraint testing requirements until December 31, 2010.

For more information on safe travel with children in vehicles, please visit www.tc.gc.ca/eng/roadsafety/safedrivers-childsafety-car-time-stages-1083.htm.  For more information on the new child seat regulations, visit the Frequently Asked Questions section at : http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/roadsafety/safedrivers-childsafety-faq-1131.htm

 

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