Car Seats and Safety For Babies and Children whilst on Holiday in the Costa del Sol Spain.
Much has already been written about the importance of fitting the correct car safety seat for babies and children. This guide will assume that nobody needs to be convinced of that fact, but will instead look at the regulations and the law here in Spain concerning What type of car seat should be fitted for babies and children of what age group.
Here in Spain it is the legal responsibility of the driver of the vehicle to ensure that all of his passengers are wearing the appropriate safety device.
Firstly, as in most other countries in the EU, the term ‘children’ is taken to mean those under 12 years of age or under 135cms tall need to have either a car seats or a booster seats, correctly installed in the Hire Car.
There are basically 4 different styles of safety device used in motor vehicles :
1.) Forward facing car seats from Newborn to 9 Months
2.) Rear facing car seats from 9 months to 4 years
3.) Booster seats 4 years and over
4.) Seat belts
Age : From Newborn to up to 9 months / Approx weight : up to 13 kg
Fitted facing away from the direction of travel for maximum support and safety in the event of an accident, and secured by straps over each shoulder, leg and fastening between the legs. Often classified by the manufacturers as “Group 0” or “Group 0+”
A baby seat should never be fitted on a front passenger seat when the car has an airbag activated.
Age : 9 months to 4 years / Approx weight : between 9 – 18 kg
Similar fixing to the above seat, but forward facing. Classified by the manufacturers as “Group 1”. Should only be fitted in the rear seats that are directly behind one of the front seats, but not in the center seat.
Age : 3 to 12 Years / Approx weight : between 15 – 36 Kg
When the child has outgrown the Group 1 seat the next advisable seat would be the Booster with the straps, this seat still is equipped with the 5 point harness system like the Group 1). This seat still elevates the child up allowing them to have the window views and has the back support, but provides you with the security the the child is still harnessed into the seat without the aid of the seat belt around them. The booster unit is secured to the seat with the aid of the car seat belt allowing the easier method to take the child in and out of the vehicle by releasing the harness.
Age : Over 12 years / Over 125 cms tall
The child should only ever use the car’s fitted seat belt when it can pass over the shoulder joint and not touch the neck. If not they should remain with the Booster cushion. No child under the age of 12 should be permitted to sit in the front passenger seat.
The only exceptions to these regulations are when a child is travelling a short journey in a taxi and in an urban area.
What are the legal penalties ?
As the driver of a vehicle, you are legally responsible to ensure that any child passenger is using the appropriate safety device for their size and/or age. Any driver who is found to be in breach of these requirements could face a significant fine and a deduction of 3 points.
Furthermore, failure to wear a seat belt or failure to ensure that a child passenger uses an appropriate child restraint or wears a seat belt according to the legal requirements described above, could invalidate any claims against your motor insurance cover.
Lastly, you may also be liable for civil proceedings for damages, if you failed to safely carry someone else’s child in your vehicle.
So if you need help with installation of your child’s car seat then contact Tots Store they will help install the seat correctly and offer any other advice that you may require for your child’s safety. This isn’t a luxury it is essential for your Hire Car.