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Investigation into the safety of babies in carry-cots restrained by a harness
Published September 08, 1987 by International Research Council on Biokinetics of Impact in Switzerland
In the Federal Republic of Germany, the wearing of seat belts in both the front and rear seats of passenger cars is compulsory. Children below the age of 12 years are exempted from this legal obligation. The German Road Traffic Regulations (StVO) stipulate merely that children must be carried on the rear seats unless the passenger seat is fitted with a special child restraint device.
Child restraint devices are - depending on the age of the child - carry- cots or baby seats (also called baby shells) for babies and young children, and children's seats of various sizes fitted with tables and/or belts for older children.
Since 1984, ECE-R 44 has been adopted as the regulation for the testing of child restraint systems - i.e. child restraint devices used in conjunction with the vehicle's own seat belts or special harnesses.
Following the 2nd amendment to this Regulation, child restraint devices of Group 0, for children below 10 kg, were included in the Regulation.
It is planned to incorporate the test in accordance with ECE-R 44 for Group 0 devices also into the 15th Amendment Ordinance to the National Regulations Authorizing the Use of Vehicles for Road Traffic (StVZO) so that after a transitionary period, from 1988 (or possibly 1992), only approved child restraint systems will be available or may be used.
Whereas child restraint systems from the other groups (I, II and III, corresponding to weights of children between 9 and 36 kg) can already be regarded as having been more or less technically perfected, a Swedish investigation into the use of carry-cots in a function as a child restraint system discovered weaknesses. This was the reason for the investigation into the safety of babies in carry-cots restrained by a harness which the Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt) carried out on behalf of the Federal Minister of Transport and in conjunction with the German Association of Automobile Seat Belt Manufacturers and the German Association of Pram Manufacturers. Baby seats installed on the passenger seat in the direction of travel were not included in this investigation