How safe is your child in your car?

Motoring reporter


Motoring reporter

RSA Check it Fits Service in Longford

Make sure your child travels in an appropriate car seat and that it is fitted properly.

Under Irish law, all children under 150cms in height or 36kgs (79lbs) in weight must use a child restraint system (CRS)  - child seat or booster - suitable for their height and weight while travelling in a car or goods vehicle (other than a taxi). 

Between 1996 and 2012, 262 children lost their lives on Irish roads. In almost one third of these deaths, the child was not wearing a seatbelt or suitable child restraint.

Children should always be properly restrained in a car with a seat or booster appropriate to their weight and height. See the chart below to help choose the best type of car seat for your child.

Rear-facing child car seats must not be used in passenger seats protected by an active frontal airbag. An airbag which deploys (opens up) in front of a rearward-facing child car seat can cause serious injury or even death if there is a collision.

There is no law against children sitting in the front seat, as long as they are using the right child restraint for their height and weight. However, as above it is illegal to use a rearward-facing child car seat in a passenger seat protected by an airbag. The deployment of an airbag where a rearward–facing baby seat is in place can cause serious injury to the child or even death.

There is now a penalty for drivers who place a rearward-facing child car seat in the front where there is an active airbag. You may receive at least 3 penalty points on your driving licence as a penalty. Drivers have a legal responsibility to ensure that all passengers under 17 are appropriately restrained in the vehicle.

Children should always travel in the back of the car, away from active airbags and the dashboard. Please note, taxi drivers are exempt from supplying child car seats.