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Counting on You campaign targets seat belt safety

Article PhotoAs children are one of the most vulnerable parties during car accidents, it is imperative kids are buckled into their seats properly at all times. However, in recent times, more parents and caregivers are being caught with their children unrestrained or in an inappropriate car seat.

As a result of this, a number of NSW authorities have collaborated on the largest child car seat campaign in the state's history - called "We're Counting on You". Launched last month, the initiative is designed to provide information and options for parents to make sure their children are looked after while in the car.

According to Parliamentary Secretary for Transport and Roads Ray Williams, around 66 per cent of NSW children are not restrained properly in vehicles. He explained how dangerous it was for children not to be in an adequate car seat.

"Children incorrectly secured in a car seat are seven times more likely to receive life threatening injuries during an accident than those using car seats secured correctly," he explained.

"Today the NSW Government is urging parents and carers to choose the safest car seat for their child's age and size and ensure it is properly installed."

While compulsory third party or ctp insurance provides compensation should a car accident result in the injury or death of a child, it is imperative that parents make good conscious decisions about where children sit and what they are sitting in.

There have been seven fatalities of children under the age of 16 on NSW roads this years, with countless others injured. Although this figure is similar to this time last year, the roads are much busier and the potential dangers have increased.

As well as providing information to NSW primary schools and early childhood centres, there is currently a major advertising campaign under way across multiple media platforms. However, of potentially more use for parents is the creation of a new website.

Collaboration across authorities

Centre for Road Safety's Marg Prendergast explained there was a lack of information available nationwide which is why Transport NSW worked alongside the NRMA, RACV, TAC, VicRoads and RACWA to develop the childcarseats.com.au website.

"Parents and carers need to get their car seats correctly installed following the manufacturer's instructions, and know how to use them properly," she said.

"The Child Car Seats website shows car seats that have been scientifically tested for crash safety and ease of use and provides star ratings for each product."

The website has been already popular with parents across NSW and NRMA Motoring and Services vehicle safety expert Jack Haley believes it will be a useful tool for the next generation of parents.

"It has useful tips on how to fit and use child car seats correctly and tells parents and carers where their nearest Authorised Fitting Station is located," he said.