Paul O'Connell with nine month old Jane Moyles launching the initiative Picture: Brian Gavin/Press 22
FORMER Munster, Ireland and Lions rugby legend, Toyota’s brand ambassador and father of two Paul O’Connell was on hand this week to launch a new three year partnership between Toyota Ireland and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) to expand the RSA’s free child car seat checking service, ‘Check it Fits’.
The aim of the RSA’s service is to save lives and prevent injuries by ensuring child car seats are correctly fitted.
Since October 2013, the RSA’s ‘Check it Fits’ Service has checked over 21,000 child car seats and restraints in Ireland. Worryingly, four out of five (79%) seats required a major adjustment, of which 3% were deemed not fit for purpose and condemned, meaning they could have caused injury or even death in the event of a collision.
At ‘Check it Fits’, RSA experts will check child car seats and restraints for free at Toyota dealerships nationwide as well as many other locations across Ireland.
The service offers parents and guardians reassurance that their child is safe while travelling in the car. Experts will fix any incorrectly fitted seats and restraints, show parents how to do it themselves and answer any queries they have.
It only takes a few minutes, no appointment is necessary and it is open to all makes and models of cars and child car seats.
Toyota and the RSA’s ultimate ambition is to check every single child car seat in Ireland and together are working hard towards reaching that goal. In the first year, the service aims to check 10,000 child car seats and will work to expand the service and increase this number over the next three years.
Speaking about the collaboration Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive of the RSA, said:
“Almost two out of five children killed on our roads are passengers and Garda reports into collisions indicate that one in 10 children were not wearing a seatbelt or using a child restraint in 2014. More recent statistics have shown an increase in child passenger fatalities on the road. The reality is that if a child’s car seat isn’t fitted correctly, it could lead to a serious or fatal injury in the event of a collision.
“Thankfully, in most cases, the issues are easy to fix. That’s why we are delighted to partner with Toyota on this important initiative which allows us to bring the service to a much wider audience with assured quality expertise on hand nationwide.
“This partnership will mean that we can check more child car seats and most importantly, save more children’s lives.”
Commenting on the announcement, Steve Tormey, Chief Executive, Toyota Ireland said: “Toyota Ireland is passionate about making a difference to the lives of families in Ireland.
“As such, our dealers are delighted to participate in this excellent initiative, with the aim of educating parents and guardians and ultimately, saving lives.
“The Road Safety Authority works tirelessly to make our roads safer and we’re proud to partner with them on this important issue. We look forward to welcoming anyone who would like car child seats and restraints checked to our dealerships nationwide.”
Paul O’Connell is delighted to be part of the initiative: “I am proud to be working with Toyota for the last seven years and this initiative is one that is particularly close to my heart. As a father of two children who are still in car seats, I understand how important it is that they’re fitted correctly. So I would encourage all parents, grandparents and guardians to visit their local Toyota dealership to avail of this life-saving service.”
The ‘Check it Fits’ Service visits every country in Ireland throughout the year. For a full list of venues, visit www.checkitfits.ie or www.toyota.ie