The institute Vias says that less than one child – under a height of 1.35 metres – in four (23%) is being correctly fastened in, and transported in a seat correctly adapted to their weight and size. The information comes after more than 1,000 children throughout Belgium were observed. The former IBSR indicates that, even worse, 13% of children are not fastened in at all according to the survey, which happens every three years.
The detailed breakdown shows that 23% of children observed were correctly fastened into an appropriate seat. Half (50%) of children had been placed in a compliant seat which was incorrectly fastened. Some 14% of children were sat in an unsuitable seat, which was incorrectly fastened and 13% of children observed were not belted up at all.
Flanders is the worst culprit with only 21% of children observed correctly fastened in, compared to 24% in Wallonia and 26% in Brussels.
Belgians do not seem to be aware of the problem. Some 77% of those questioned, following observations, asserted that they were correctly fastening their child into a compliant seat.
It turns out that grandparents pay the greatest attention to the problem, as no child carried by them was observed not having been fastened in. The institute Vias further notes that the greatest incorrect use occurs in the middle back seat of the car.
Vias also insists that restraint systems for children reduce the risk of fatal injuries by 70% for babies aged under one year, and by 55% for children aged one to four years.