Upper Middle road was the site of a police sting operation against improperly installed child safety seats. Almost 3/4 of the drivers that had child safety seats in the car failed the inspection. Some violations were obvious such as a small child or even infant not even using one, but others were more of a technical nature that is cause for some raised eyebrows.
The article posted on InsideHalton lists the many reasons for failing the child safety seat inspection such as:
• Expired car seats
• Children required by law to be in a booster seat not using one
• Use of an infant car seat for a child over the weight/height limit
• Car seats purchased in the United States, which are not valid in Canada
• A child in a booster seat with no seat belt
I am sure some parents don’t even know about some of these technicalilties. What is an “expired car seat”? How can a car seat expire? Does it start to disintegrate or was it never safe to begin with in which case it should have been subject to a recall. While it is noble that Halton police are out there making sure our little darlings are safely tucked away in their car seats, they need to either educate the public more about some of these technicalities or remove them from the list of violations.
Car seats purchased in the United States are not valid in Canada! How dare anyone think of bringing a child seat from a third world country such as the United States who must have very lax restrictions when it comes to the safety of their children. At least there should be an international or even North American standard as to what is and is not safe about a car seat which manufacturers can sell there, at worst this is Canadian protectionism or a political lobby of testing organizations that pry big bucks from manufacturers for approvals. Caught like a deer in headlights is the busy mom who is trying to get her child off to preschool only to be given a citation because that $300 car seat that she saved some HST on from Buffalo violates some Canadian safety law. Folks, either the seat has been tested to protect our young ones in the event of a collision and will protect all children no matter if they live in the U.S. or Canada, or the seat should not be sold anywhere.
Car seat companies should also put out videos showing exactly how to install them according to manufacturers directions so that hours of head tilting can be avoided when trying to extract meaning from some of these manuals.
If Halton police is that strict about the type of safety seat in the car, perhaps they should publish a list of brand and model that is allowed in cars that can be easily referenced by families.
The intention though is a very important one. Properly installed and used child safety seats protect our children during any kind of collision or even a very fast stop, so lets keep our kids safe and you just might pass the next child seat inspection on Upper Middle Road.