09 May 2017
ROAD SAFETY AUTHORITY AND TOYOTA AIM TO CHECK 10,000 CHILD CAR SEATS IN 2017
- Road Safety Authority and Toyota launch a new three year partnership on child car seat safety
- Toyota brand ambassador Paul O’Connell launches partnership
- 4 out of 5 child car seats incorrectly fitted in Ireland
- The ‘Check it Fits’ Service provides a free checking service nationwide
Service will now be available at Toyota’s nationwide dealer network
Munster, Ireland and Lions rugby legend, Toyota’s brand ambassador and father of two Paul O’Connell was on hand today to launch a new three year partnership between Toyota Ireland and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) to expand the RSA’s free child car seat checking service, ‘Check it Fits’. The aim of the RSA’s service is to save lives and prevent injuries by ensuring child car seats are correctly fitted.
This new partnership further builds on Toyota’s ‘Build for A Better World’ brand vision which was announced in late 2016 with the aim of creating a meaningful difference for families in Ireland by building a better, safer future for all. The RSA ‘Check it Fits’ Service provided a natural fit for this vision which will now see Toyota bring this life-saving service to its nationwide dealer network.
Since October 2013, the RSA’s ‘Check it Fits’ Service has checked over 21,000 child car seats and restraints in Ireland. Worryingly, 4 out of 5 (79%) seats required a major adjustment, of which 3% were deemed not fit for purpose and condemned, meaning they could have caused injury or even death in the event of a collision.
At ‘Check it Fits’, RSA experts will check child car seats and restraints for free at Toyota dealerships nationwide as well as many other locations across Ireland. The service offers parents and guardians reassurance that their child is safe while travelling in the car. Experts will fix any incorrectly fitted seats and restraints, show parents how to do it themselves and answer any queries they have. It only takes a few minutes, no appointment is necessary and it is open to all makes and models of cars and child car seats.
Toyota and the RSA’s ultimate ambition is to check every single child car seat in Ireland and together are working hard towards reaching that goal. In the first year, the service aims to check 10,000 child car seats and will work to expand the service and increase this number over the next three years.
Speaking about the collaboration Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive of the RSA, said:
“Almost 2 out of 5 children killed on our roads are passengers and Garda reports into collisions indicate that 1 in 10 children were not wearing a seatbelt or using a child restraint in 2014. More recent statistics have shown an increase in child passenger fatalities on the road. The reality is that if a child’s car seat isn’t fitted correctly, it could lead to a serious or fatal injury in the event of a collision.
Thankfully, in most cases, the issues are easy to fix. That’s why we are delighted to partner with Toyota on this important initiative which allows us to bring the service to a much wider audience with assured quality expertise on hand nationwide. This partnership will mean that we can check more child car seats and most importantly, save more children’s lives.”
Commenting on the announcement, Steve Tormey, Chief Executive, Toyota Ireland said:
“Toyota Ireland is passionate about making a difference to the lives of families in Ireland. As such, our dealers are delighted to participate in this excellent initiative, with the aim of educating parents and guardians and ultimately, saving lives. The Road Safety Authority works tirelessly to make our roads safer and we’re proud to partner with them on this important issue. We look forward to welcoming anyone who would like car child seats and restraints checked to our dealerships nationwide.”
Ambassador Paul O’Connell is delighted to be part of the initiative:
“I am proud to be working with Toyota for the last seven years and this initiative is one that is particularly close to my heart. As a father of two children who are still in car seats, I understand how important it is that they’re fitted correctly. So I would encourage all parents, grandparents and guardians to visit their local Toyota dealership to avail of this life-saving service.”
The ‘Check it Fits’ Service visits every country in Ireland throughout the year. For a full list of venues, visit www.checkitfits.ie or www.toyota.ie
Top Tips for Parents:
- It is now EU law that all children must travel in a child seat, booster seat or booster cushion.
- The golden rule for choosing a child car seat is making sure it is suitable for your child’s weight, height and age and that it conforms to the latest EU safety regulations (look for the 'E' mark).
- Do not use age exclusively as a guide while picking a car seat, as every child is different.
- When buying a child car seat, make sure you go to a retailer who can show you how to fit it in your car. If the child car seat will be used in more than one car, make sure it’s compatible with additional cars as well.
- Avoid using a second-hand child car seat or restraint unless you know its history. It may have been damaged in a previous collision, and although the damage may not be visible, it won’t provide the same level of protection for your child.
- Don’t move your child from a rearward-facing child car seat to a forward-facing child car seat too soon. If you’re unsure, always consult with your retailer before you buy your next child car seat.