TØI report 732/2004
Author: Astrid H. Amundsen
Oslo 2005, 34 pages, Norwegian language
Summary:
Use of child restraint systems in Norway
In the period from 2002 to 2004 extensive information activity and enforcement was
implemented in 6 Norwegian counties, as a part of the project “Restraining children in cars”.
As a part of the enforcement, restraint use was recorded as the children was delivered to
kindergarten. The percentage of un-restrained children was reduced from 10 percent in 2002
to 5 percent in 2004. But the percentage of children aged 0-3 year restrained illegally was
more or less stable on 10 percent in the same period. The use of rearward-facing seats among
the youngest has increased from 10 to 14 percent. The percentage of children placed in front
of an active airbag has been reduced from 5 to 3 percent.
100
11
Percent
80
9
14
15
11
6
85
80
80
79
60
40
Not restrained
20
Wrongly restrained
0
Correctly restrained
ar
ye
5
-1 r
11 yea
10
7- ear
y
6
4- ear
y
3
0-
The project “Restraining children in cars” was
initiated in 2001. As a part of the project,
information on how best to restrain small children
(mainly 5 years and younger) in cars was spread to
kindergartens and child-care-centres in 6 of
Norway`s 19 counties. The main goal of the project
was to increase the percentage of children restrained
in an appropriate condition. The focus was on the
advantages of restraining children in rearwardfacing seats as long as possible, and on the danger
of placing small children in front of an not
deactivated airbag.
To evaluate the effect of the project,
questionnaires were answered by parents and childcare-personnel and checks on how the children was
restrained when delivered to kindergarten were
performed.
Results from the 2004-checks show that 82
percent of the children were correctly restrained and
13 percent were wrongly restrained, se table S.1.
The percentage of un-restrained children was
reduced from 10 percent in 2002 to 5 percent in
2004.
Source: TØI report 732/2004
Figure S.1: Percentage of restrained, wrongly
restrained and not-restrained children in 2004. By
age-group. N=3149
Figure S.1 show that the percentage of children not
restrained increased with age. There is also a higher
percentage of not restrained children sitting in the
front-seat, compared to that of in the rear-seat.
Parents who are not using seat-belts fail to restrain
their children more often than parents using seatbelts, se figure S.2.
The report can be ordered from:
Institute of Transport Economics, PO Box 6110 Etterstad, N-0602 Oslo, Norway – Telephone: +47 22 57 38 00 Telefax +47 22 57 02 90 www.toi.no
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Use of child restraint systems in Norway
80
12
100
29
90
80
86
Child
18
60
53
40
Un-restrained
Wrongly restrained
20
Percent
Percent
100
8
55
75
29
73
70
60
50
40
14
Without seat-belt
With seat-belt
59
39
Booster with belt
Forward-facing
30
0
Correctly restrained
Rearward-facing
17
10
0
Bed/boxette
ar
ye
4
ar
ds
ye
ol
3 r
a
ar
ye ye
2
1
d
an
0
ed
ur
ec
-s
ot
N ed
r
cu
Se
Driver
20
Source: TØI report 732/2004
Source: TØI report 732/2004
Figure S.2: Percentage not restrained, wronglyrestrained and correct restrained children
compared to driver`s seat-belt use. N=3125
Parents knowledge regarding regulations and
restraint systems that are best suitable is generally
good, but this does not mean that parents necessarily
use this knowledge when restraining their children.
About 80 percent of the parents state that they know
that restraining their children in rearward-facing
seats is the safest for children under 4 years.
Nevertheless just 14 percent of the children (0-3
years of age) are restrained in rearward-facing seats.
The use of rearward-facing seats in the projectcounties is about 40 percent for children under 2
years, about 20 percent for the 2-year-olds and 5
percent among the 3-year olds, see figure S.3. This
is higher than in countries like the US, but far below
Sweden. In Sweden about 80 percent of the children
from 1-2 year are restrained in rearward-facing child
seats.
Figure S.3: Use of different types of CRS for rearseat passengers in 2004. By age, in percent.
N=1635.
There was an increased percentage of the children
aged 0-3 year seated in rearward-facing seats (from
10 to 14 percent) in the project period. Even if the
percentage of rearward-facing has increased some,
forward-facing seats are still preferred by most
parents.
The percentage of children placed in front of an
active airbag has been reduced from 5 percent in
2002 to 3 percent in 2004.
Even if most of the children now are restrained
some way or other, many are still wrongly
restrained. Common errors when restraining small
children are among others:
¾ Placing small children in front of an not deactivated airbag.
¾ Wrong use of the three-point-seat-belt
(behind the back, above the throat, under
the arms, over the abdomen).
¾ Using restraint systems not suitable for the
child`s age/weight.
Table S.1 gives an overview of some of the
results from the evaluation.
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Copyright © Institute of Transport Economics, 2004
Use of child restraint systems in Norway
Table S.1: Comparing result from controls in 2002, 2003 and 2004. In percent.
Child restraint use:
Correctly restrained
Not restrained
Wrongly restrained
Children wrongly restrained:
In front-seat with airbag
In loose or badly fastened seat
The belt under arm, behind the back, over
the abdomen.
Twisted belt
Other types of errors
2002
N=3251
70.2
10.3
19.6
N=609
27.9
16.7
31.7
13.8
9.9
2003
N=4373
72.4*
6.9**
20.6
N=805
26.6
9.3
27.0
2004
N=3302
82.0**
5.0**
13.0**
N=344
30.5
6.7
34.3*
11.4
25.7**
7.8
20.6
Source: TØI report 732/2004
** The difference compared to the previous year is significant at 1 percent-level
* The difference compared to the previous year is significant at 5 percent-level
The percentage of children not restrained (aged 03 year) was low both in the project-counties and
in Norway in general. In this study, just 3.3
percent were not restrained. But a further 6.4
percent was restrained by using the car`s seat-belt
only. This means that 10 percent of the children in
this age-group was restrained in a way not
accepted by the Norwegian CRS regulations. In
addition, others were restrained in a way not
suitable for the child`s age.
The project has had a positive effect on the use of
CRS as more children are restrained. There has
Copyright © Institute of Transport Economics, 2004
also been an increased use of rearward-facing
CRS for children 3 years and younger and a
reduction of small children placed in front of an
active airbag. But there is still a long way to go.
We therefore recommend increased enforcement
of CRS. When controlling CRS use it is also a
advantage if the percentage of wrongly-restrained
children also are registered (and the parents told
what they are doing wrong). Since many children
are being restrained in a way not suitable to their
age/weight, more information of how best to
restrain children is also necessary.
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