New child seats UN Regulation 129 – i-Size Enhanced Child Restraint System
A new UN Regulation R129, for the approval of Enhanced Child Restraint System (ECRS), has been developed by a committee of experts under the auspice of United Nations, with the aim to enhance child safety in UN countries by addressing key areas such as misuse, extended rear facing position for the child, side impact and new test tools. The first part of this regulation has focused on ISOFIX universal integral restraint systems, which will be called i-Size.
The new Regulation has entered into force since 9th July 2013. It does not currently replace the UN Regulation 44.04 car seat legislation. Both standards will initially run in parallel. Therefore car seats complying with UN R44.04 may continue to be sold and used safely.
Child Restraint Systems approved according to the new Regulation will provide the following major improvements for the transportation of children in cars:
• Better protection for the head and neck of babies and toddlers thanks to mandatory rear facing transport until at least 15 months
• Provides side impact protection for better protection of the head and neck, thanks to a new dynamic test reproducing a lateral impact, which mimics intrusion of a vehicle side structure into the vehicle.
• Promotes ISOFIX and therefore reduces misuse with ISOFIX only child restraint systems.
• Simplified marking on product, with a stated height range child, and maximum child mass.
• Prevents from too early upsizing.
• Better compatibility between car and CRS.
i-Size homologated CRS can be installed in existing vehicle ISOFIX positions with the same constraints which apply to UN R44 ISOFIX CRSs (a list of approved cars will be provided by child seat manufacturers). For complete i-size compatibility, negating the need for car fitting lists, UN vehicle Regulations R14 and R16 have been modified to define i-Size seating positions in cars. With its new protocol Euro NCAP will encourage i-Size seating positions.
In its first phase, UN R129 with i-Size products will offer improved protection for children from birth up to or beyond 105 cm* with ISOFIX connection. Every orientation of Child Restraint Systems (rearward, lateral or forward facing) is allowed by UN Regulation 129. However, the use of forward facing products is not permitted for children below 15 months of age.
New phases including non-integral (booster seats) and integral belted seats are under preparation and will be enforced before 2015**.
*UN R129 doesn’t give upper limit for i-Size seats. However, compatibility constraints with cars including mass and volume limitation physically limits i-Size products to a maximum child stature of 105 cm.
** Indicative dates : Technical or administrative difficulties can delay the targeted dates.