Child car seats to be mandatory in Thailand from Sept 5

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Thailand is about to implement a major new ruling regarding road safety.

From Sept 5, all children under the age of 6 years old or under 135cm, will be required to be restrained in a child seat or using a safety cushion when traveling in a moving vehicle.

The requirement has already been published in the Royal Gazette, however, the national police chief will be responsible for stipulating the exact requirements of the new ruling.

The new ruling is in accordance with an update to section 123 of the Land Traffic Act, which also states that the driver and all passengers must wear a seat belt when traveling in a moving vehicle.

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The only exceptions to the rule are for those who are not able to wear a seat belt due to medical grounds.

For children, they must be secured in a car seat or a so-called ‘safety cushion’.

Nikorn Chamnog, deputy chairman of the House committee, who oversaw the changes to the Land Traffic Act, stated that both car seats and ‘safety cushions’ are acceptable for use.

The safety cushions or booster seat as they are also known, enable the child to sit high enough in the car so a seat belt can work more effectively.

Mr Nikorn acknowledged that car seats can be quite expensive, typically retailing for around 10,000 baht.

Because of the high cost, Mr Nikorn said parents can also opt for a safety cushion which is normally priced around 700 baht.

Mr Nikorn also called on police to be lenient with enforcement of the new law when it is introduced on Sept 5, adding that motorists in Thailand will need time to adjust to the new requirement.

He add that a national publicity campaign needs to take place to inform drivers of the new rules.

Anyone who violates or fails to comply with the new ruling shall be liable for a fine not exceeding 2,000 baht.

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