Child restraints in cabs a ‘practicality’

When it comes to child restraints, taxis can get away with things that would earn a private driver a hefty fine.

In a privately owned car, children must be fitted in a child restraint or booster seat until they are seven years old.

But in a taxi, it’s a different story. According to the law, children under one year old in a taxi must be in an approved child restraint.

But once they turn one,  they can sit in the back seat secured by a seatbelt, just like an adult. A booster seat is also an option.

This is despite information on  the NSW government’s Centre for Road Safety website, which says children are four times as likely to sustain a head injury if wearing an adult seatbelt.

Roads Minister Duncan Gay is responsible for the road rules, which include child restraint regulations.

‘‘We understand the concerns some people might have, but this is an issue of practicality,’’ a spokesman for Mr Gay said of the different provisions for taxis.

‘‘People with children can request a cab that is fitted with child restraint devices as 10per cent of cabs are required to carry them.’’

A Transport for NSW spokesman also said it was an issue of practicality for taxi operators.

‘‘It is not always practical for all taxis to carry enough of the different types of approved child restraints – rearward-facing, forward-facing and booster seats,’’ the spokesman said.

Wollongong Radio Cabs general manager George Isiklar said roughly 40per cent of the fleet carried some form of child restraint.

Mr Isiklar said a parent with a child who was older than one year old could still request an appropriate restraint, but time was needed to organise it.


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