Improving child restraint design – upcoming changes in restraint standards and remaining challenges.
The Australian/New Zealand child restraint Standard, AS/NZS 1754 is recognised as one of the most rigorous worldwide, and there are major changes being currently being introduced to accommodate larger and older children in child restraints. This paper outlines these changes and explains the rationale behind the changes. How these relate to proposed legislation changes is also presented. Key changes include the provision of booster seats for children up to 8-10 years of age, and weight up to 36kg, increased from 26kg in the current Standard; increases in weight limits for forward-facing seats; additional side impact testing requirements; and the phasing out of booster cushions. Future challenges for the Standard such as specialist anchorage systems (e.g. ISOFIX/LATCH) and improved labelling and ease of use requirements will also be discussed.