Parents and caregivers across New Zealand have a new tool to help them quickly and easily find a qualified professional able to provide advice on the sale, rental and fitting of child restraints.
The NZTA website has been updated with a new map that lists (via region) child restraint technicians that have been trained and certified, and are happy to be contacted by parents and caregivers.
The NZTA is working to strengthen the skills of child restraint technicians throughout New Zealand with the recent introduction of a competence-based system linked to the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).
Under the new system all certified child restraint technicians (CRTs) will be trained and assessed as competent by achieving two NZQF unit standards demonstrating the knowledge required to sell, rent or install child restraints.
There are currently 230 CRTs around the country, with more qualifying every day.
NZTA Acting Manager Network User Behaviour Jennie Gianotti said the safety of children in vehicles was of vital importance to the NZTA.
"Often parents assume their child restraint is fitted correctly but many roadside checks show this sometimes isn’t the case. It’s important to have informed advice when buying or fitting a child restraint.
"By linking CRT training to the NZQF, a consistent level of knowledge and practical expertise is gained those who are certified. This will build the capacity to give informed advice across the sector."
CRTs work for a variety of organisations such as retailers, car rental companies, NZ Police, hospitals and not-for-profits such as Plunket. Opening up the training to any organisation that deals with parents/caregivers and young children should improve safety across the board.
Sue Campbell, National Child Safety Advisor for Plunket said: "We’re committed to getting everybody at Plunket who works for our car rental schemes or regularly with child restraints, through the CRT training. We’re well on the way to having that done. The NZQA qualifications provide the public with some certainty that CRTs have the expertise to help them."
A new dedicated section on the NZTA website gives details about child restraints and keeping children safe when travelling by car. The site has information on legal requirements and safety standards on child restraints.
As part of the Safer Journeys Action Plan the goal for 2020 is to achieve a correct use and fitting rate of 90 percent for child restraints. Strengthening the capability of child restraint technicians will help achieve this goal.