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New rules for transporting children in cars

On 5 March 2021, the amendments to the Road Traffic Rules concerning the transportation of children entered into force in accordance with Resolution No. 152 of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated 24.02.2021.

The previous version of the Road Traffic Rules regarding the requirements for transportation of children has been in force since 2008. It was incomprehensible and contained many controversial points.

In particular, the concept of a ‘Special Equipment’ in which this type of passenger can be transported was undefined. The rule on the obligation to transport “hildren who are less than 145 cm tall or under 12 years of age” in a child booster seat was also debatable.

The regulation introduces the concept of «a child restraint system» – an equipment capable of restraining a child in a seated or reclined position which, in the event of a collision or sudden braking of the vehicle, reduces the risk of injury to the child by restricting the child’s body movements. The characteristics of the child restraint system must be suitable for the height and weight of the child, and must be specified by the manufacturers on such devices.

Restraint systems must be installed only in the back seat. As an exception, children under 3 years of age can be transported in the front row seat when the restraint system is installed against the direction of travel, making sure that the front airbag in this seat (if present) is deactivated.

Children must be kept in child restraint systems in a buckled position.

The new changes specify that the obligation to transport a child in a child restraint system only applies to vehicles that are equipped with seat belts. If the car manufacturer has not designed the vehicle with seat belts, the regulations do not prohibit transporting a child without a car seat. There will be no fine in this case, but the parents will be personally responsible for the risk of injury to the child in the event of an accident.

If two “child restraint systems” have already been installed in the car, a third child may be transported only if the following three conditions are met:

  • the child must be over 3 years old;
  • must be wearing a seat belt;
  • the maximum speed of the vehicle must not exceed 60 km/h

The new rules completely rejected the age restriction. From now on, the only criterion for obligatory transportation of a child in a car seat is the child’s height – children under 145 cm must be travelling in car booster seats. These rules do not apply to transportation in buses, minibuses or ambulances.

The fine for violating these rules for transporting children is 510 UAH. A repeat offense within a year incurs a fine of UAH 850.