First of all, the new norm ECE R129 has been developed to replace the present regulations ECE R44/04, to improve the safety and the convenience of child seats. To achieve this goal there have been certain innovations introduced as we mentioned in the last publication, which we will now go over again to emphasize the relevance of these measures.
The main advantages of the i-Size seats are better protection in a head-on collision, of the head and neck; to encourage the use of backward facing seats; better lateral protection, thanks to new approval tests which now test lateral impact; less risk of incorrect installation as the new regulation ECE R129 guarantees that an i-Size seat can easily be installed in any i-Size vehicle.
Introduction of the i-Size regulations
In Spain the new i-Size regulations, ECE129, come fully into force once it is published along with the corresponding ministerial order. This is necessary so that the new i-Size seats can be purchased and used legally. That is why there are very few available at the moment but this will progressively increase.
The coming into force of the new regulations ECE R129 does not substitute the old regulations ECE R44/04, which can still be used. Since the new regulations do not substitute the old ECE R44/04 norm, but offers an alternative, giving the makers of child seats the choice of two separate sets of regulations.
Although the i-Size child seats are designed specifically for the seats of i-Size vehicles it is still possible to use them in vehicles not fitted with i-Size seats. With each i-Size seat comes a list of the vehicles into which the seats can be safely installed.
And lastly, it is important to point out that the norm ECE R129 does not cover every type of child seat. The first phase was approved in November 2012 and came into force in July 2013; it only covers integrated seats, those that have a harness to hold the child in place, using the ISOFIX system.
Apart from this phase of the ECE R129 regulations, there are others to follow. The second phase covers ISOFIX seats that are not integrated, that is to say those where the child is held in place using the car seatbelt. The third phase of the new regulations will introduce some modifications to ECE R44 regarding non-ISOFIX seats, those that are held in place using the car seatbelt and to ECE R14 and ECE R16 concerning seatbelts and their anchors. The idea is for these non-ISOFIX seats to include all the new criteria in phase one and two.
At the MAPFRE FOUNDATION we repeat our support of anything that can improve road safety. The improvements introduced within the new approval regulations ECE R129 for child seats serve to provide a higher level of road safety to children. We recommend that you keep up to date with the introduction of the new regulations so you can purchase an i-Size seat as soon as possible.