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ISOFIX approved for Australia

Better late than never: The simpler, clip-based ISOFIX child restraint system can be legally used here at last.

Local standards organisation gives overdue approval for ISOFIX child seats

7 Jun 2013

ISOFIX child restraints have been given regulatory approval in Australia, more than 12 months after been given the go-ahead by the Australian government.

The simple, latch-based system has been given approval by peak non-government organisation Standards Australia, more than 16 years after it was introduced in Europe and 11 years after North America.

ISOFIX uses two brackets attached to the base of the vehicle’s rear seats that child restraints latch into. According to advocates, this makes it simpler to operate than rival system, minimising any risk of improper child-seat fitment.

The new Australian standards require the supplementary use of a top tether strap fixed to another point in the vehicle such as the roof.

Chief executive officer of Standards Australia Colin Blair said the new standards improve on the existing regulations for child seat installation.

“The revised standard maintains rigorous Australian requirements for restraining children in vehicles, but now allows ISOFIX-compatible lower attachment connectors to be included as an additional option in the design of certain types of child restraints.” The new standards give parents the option of using the existing standard of threading the seatbelts through the child restraint or the Isofix attachments as a means of securing a child seat.

Standards Australia believes that the introduction of new regulations will improve the likelihood of the correct installation of child seats.

As GoAuto reported last year, a study by the RACV in 2004 showed that 70 per cent of restraints that complied with Australian standards at the time may have been incorrectly installed.

Local car-maker Holden correctly predicted the approval of Isofix attachments in cars by including them in its recently-released VF Commodore, while a number of other manufacturers have released vehicles in Australia in recent years that also feature Isofix latches.

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