CREP Report

CREP Report

New Victorian car seat laws

Recently new victorian car seat laws have come into effect impacting how children travel in cars. The change has come about due to the current law only stipulating a weight for the child and not an age specific requirement.

Victoria is the first state in Australia to announce implementation of the laws targeting kids in cars.

Note at present, there are no new laws yet and if youre doing the right thing now; there is a good chance that you will be compliant when the laws come into effect.

The new laws change all this by focusing on

  • Larger children involving booster use. This may especially be an issue with multiple children / restraint situations.
  • The need to use a front seat position.

Roads Minister Tim Pallas; said children in the front seat have a 40 per cent greater risk of injury in a crash; than those in the back of the car.

Research suggests children are moving too early into bigger seats; which are not appropriate for their weight and height and increases the risk of injury. About 500 children a year are killed or seriously injured in car accidents.

This reform responds to calls from road safety experts, police and the community; for updated laws which clearly articulate stronger minimum standards.

The approved reform will provide a safe pathway from rear child seats to boosters and adult seatbelts.

Children up to 6 months old should be restrained in a rearward facing infant capsule; then a forward facing child seat until the age of 4; and a booster seat from 4 to 7 years old.

Children aged over 7 years can use an adult seat belt if they are properly restrained. Some children over 7 years old may be too short; (less than 1.45m) for the safe use of an adult belt and too heavy (over 26kgs) for a booster seat.


Australian Standards are developing a standard for large booster seats suitable for children up to 36kgs and 1.35 metres tall. This will help close the technical gap between boosters and adult seatbelts (accommodating about 50% of children at their ninth birthday).

Regulating for child restraints by age becomes more difficult as children grow older because the variability in the height and weight increases.

Under the new victorian car seat laws;iIf your child is too tall or heavy; provisions are in place to go to the next level as long as they are properly restrained.

The same applies for smaller children, who may need to stay longer in their existing restraint. Children up to four years old must be restrained in the rear of a vehicle; (using an approved child seat, fitted with an inbuilt harness).

If the child is aged 4 to 7 years old; he/she can only be restrained on a booster in the front seat; if all the rear seat positions are occupied by children under 7.

The back seats are safer than the front seat.

Under the new victorian car seat laws; Taxis will continue to be exempt (for children up to 7 years old). Parents and carers can bring their own child restraint and/or booster or ask the taxi company to provide one.

CREP Report


In the December 2007 RACV Child Restraint Evaluation Program, the RACV and the NRMA conducted a Child Restraint Evaluation Program which looked into the current availability and safety of Child car seats, These were tabled in a report and is referenced in the report. Unfortunately the Safe-n-Sound maxi Rider Mk II was not included in the evaluation and should be redone to verify the results.

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CREP Report

Safe n Sound Car Seats – NRMA Report

Safe Car Seats - Safe n Sound - NRMA Report

During March 2008 Choice reviewed the Safe Car Seat booster Report from the NRMA. The review brings together Booster seats, Child seats and Infant restraints all under the one review, covering

brands such as Safe N Sound, Infa, Hipod, Babylove, IGC, BabyCraft and Vita, With Safe and Sound representing the bulk of the Car Seats/Boosters/Infant Restrainers tested by NRMA.

Though the list of seats tested is very perplexing as there are discontinued models in the list.

Discontinued Car Seats

The first noticable item which one notices about the list of Car Seats/ Booster Seats etc is that "Choice" have decided to list discontinued Car Seats etc, rather than editing the discontinued items out of the report. 

The first problem is listing discontinued car seats is that they may not conform to the latest safety standards being laid down by the government and the ACCC. Should a mum decide purchase one of these discontinued car seats/booster seats from a Baby Store which has slow moving stock, then this could endanger the life of the baby/Child, due to the item not conforming to the current safety standards;

Secondly listing the discontinued items; mean that people may try to seek out an item which is no longer made or supported, wasting the time of the parent and potentially seeking out the second hand item just to get that particular brand/make. regardless the Discontinued items should be removed immediately.

Safe Booster Seats ?

Strangely the Safe N Sound Maxirider and other "Safe and Sound" car seats / booster seats did not rate/rank very well for the child booster seats, yet one of the lower priced Booster seats (the Infa Vario Kid) has achieved the highest protection (rated "a" by the NRMA = Exceptional Crash protection, and well above the AS requirements), yet the Safe and Sound Maxirider only managed to rate a "c" (According to the NRMA this means Above-average crash protection, and above the AS requirement), which is the second lowest safety standard.

Safety Feedback

This I find extremely puzzling as firstly the Safe n Sound Maxi rider can function both as a Child Seat and as a booster seat, suitable for a child from 8 kg through to 26 kg, meaning parents only have to purchase one item and not two.

As can be seen by the video at the end of this post, then safe n sound safety is nothing short if extremely intensive, ensuring your child's safety is of the highest standard.

The last and more puzzling aspect is that I have heard reports that Victorian car seat installers are refusing to install the Infa Vario kid dues to safety concerns, Firstly I would like feedback from any car seat installers as to the veracity of this claim / rumor, secondly how do the "Safe n Sound" products compare and lastly user feedback on any of the car seats / Booster seats tested in the report.

Related Posts

  • Cheap (Discounted) Safe and Sound Car Seats
  • Cheap (Discounted) Safe n Sound Maxi-Rider Car Seats
  • Cheap (Discounted) Infa Vario Kid Car Seats and More
  • Choice report on Safety Seats