Early child’s car safety seat, Europe, 1958-1963
UK road traffic deaths have halved in the last 30 years. A major factor is the development and provision of child safety seats and their subsequent requirement by law. Until the 1960s, most new cars were either not fitted with seatbelts or they were only present in the front. This left children in the back vulnerable should the vehicle crash. This very early steel and leatherette chair was difficult to attach. It appears to be as much a restraint as a safety device. It is fully collapsible and the chair fitted a small child or toddler. It was one of several donated to the Science Museum by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL). The TRL was responsible for ‘dynamic testing’ (involving simulated crashes). These were required for setting up standards and regulations covering car safety seats in the UK. As of 2007, it became law that children up to 135cm or up to 12 years-old (whichever comes first) must travel in the correct child seat. This could be a baby car seat or a ‘booster’ seat for older children.
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Glossary: child's car seat
Glossary: health and safety