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Last Updated: Monday, 18 September 2006, 12:37 GMT 13:37 UK
New car seat laws: Parents' views
New laws on child car seats have come into force amid warnings that the public has not been properly informed.

Would parents on the school-run at St Joseph's primary school in New Cross, south-east London, be aware of the changes?

TIM MINIKIZA - FOUND OUT ABOUT CHANGES AT WEEKEND

Daniel Manikiza, aged eight, is tall for his age. His parents, Tim and Laura, have decided that he does not need a child seat or a booster cushion.

Minikiza family
Younger brother Louis, aged seven, is not so lucky. For the first time in about three years he has had to sit in a child seat.

Tim said: "Louis doesn't like it all. He said he wasn't a baby anymore. We had to tell him that he'd be able to see out of the window better so he'd get into it. But he still doesn't like it."

Although Tim said he thought the new laws were generally a good idea, he questioned the amount of information made available to the public.

"I only heard it was coming into effect on Saturday. Luckily we still had a seat in the shed and we just dusted that one off."

NEGROES DUBE - INTENDS TO BUY A CUSHION

Negroes Dube has three children aged two, six and 12 years old.

Negroes Dube
He said he was aware of the new laws through reports on the television news.

"What I expected was probably a leaflet in the post to explain the changes. Perhaps through the DVLA. But I heard about it on the news.

"My six-year-old needs a booster cushion. I intend to get one, but I just haven't had the time."

Negroes said he was not too confident that the cushions would really save children's lives.

"The idea is that these seats and cushions will stop a child from being hurt - but I haven't seen any analysis or any figures to support these claims."

KEITH LEWIS - ALREADY USES CHILD SEATS

Keith Lewis's two children are four and seven years old. He and his wife have always put their children into special seats.

Keith Lewis

"My wife normally takes the children to school - but she has a problem with her car so I brought them today.

"The only difficulty that we had with the new rules was that I had to transfer the seats out of her car and into mine.

"But we've had them both in child seats since they were tiny."

He said he thought the authorities had made the issue prominent enough in the build-up to the rule change.

CYRIL OPARA - UNAWARE OF CHANGES

"This is a total surprise to me," Cyril Opara said after seeing his seven-year-old son to the school gates.

Cyril Opara

"I think I'm somebody who is interested in listening to the news, but I knew nothing about this.

"I do think it is a good idea if it's going to protect children. And if it's my responsibility to make sure that I have a seat, then I'll do it."

But he said he would want to be absolutely sure that any seat he fitted met all the proper safety standards.




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