Checking that your child restraint is still installed after you have had a warrant of fitness is something you should do every time.
Does a WOF inspector have to move a child restraint?
As part of completing a WOF, an inspector is required to test the vehicle belts. To do this they need to latch and unlatch the seat belts.
If you are using the lower anchors (ie. ISOFIX or LATCH) to install your child’s car seat, there will be no need for the inspector to disturb it.
However, if your child restraint is installed using the seat belt, the inspector must uninstall it to test the vehicle belts. As soon as the vehicle belt is un-latched the restraint is no longer secured.
Before it is used again, it must be reinstalled properly.
Can a WOF inspector install a child restraint?
The WOF inspector does not need to reinstall the restraint for you.
In most cases, WOF inspectors are not qualified as Child Restraint Technicians and do not know how to safely and securely install car seats. It is common practice for companies to have a policy that does not allow their inspectors to install these.
Best practice is for a WOF inspector to position an uninstalled child restraint upside down on the vehicle seat. The purpose of this is to show clearly that the restraint is no longer secured and must be reinstalled.
Unfortunately, this is not always done. As a result, parents may not even be aware that the restraint has been uninstalled.
Following a warrant of fitness, parents have been known to have driven with their child in a car seat which is not installed for a period of days or even weeks, with no knowledge of this. This is an easy mistake to make.
Don’t assume your child restraint is installed following a WOF. Check it every time.
How can you prepare for having your child restraint reinstalled following a WOF?
If at all possible, plan to take your vehicle to get a warrant of fitness when you can do so without your child with you. This ensures you will not have the stress of trying to reinstall the car seat at the vehicle testing station with the pressure of a young child to take care of at the same time.
If you are unable to install the child restraint yourself or would prefer not to, pre-book an appointment with a child restraint technician for immediately following the WOF. This will ensure you know your restraint has been properly installed and your family will be traveling safely.
If you need help having a child restraint reinstalled after a warrant of fitness, or at any other time, contact us at SitTight or follow this link to view a list of CRTs nationwide. This will help you find your local technician who will be able to assist you.