Project: New Programme for the Assessment of Child restraint Systems (NPACS)

Reference: S0225/VF

Last update: 25/03/2008 16:59:51

Objectives

This project will deliver the protocols for a set of suitable assessment and test methods as defined by the research, produce a new rating scheme and a Regulatory Impact Assessment.

The test methods and rating scheme may be used as the basis for a European consumer information campaign.

Description

Child Restraint Systems (CRS) can essentially be of three types; those intended for use in specific vehicles, those that can be used in a range of identified vehicle models and those intended for universal use. The universal category child restraint is almost unique as a safety device in that its fit and safety performance is dependant on the local environment into which it is fitted: the car. However, the ability to transfer this safety device from vehicle to vehicle is seen as an essential characteristic. Thus it is seen as important to be able to assess how well the CRS performs when fitted to a range of vehicle seats and other test environments.
There are currently at least three different assessment methods being used within Europe to provide consumers with advice on the selection of Child Restraint Systems and they produce differing results and hence conflicting advice. This is seen as confusing and it is considered that a single well-founded assessment method would have considerable advantages.

Contractor(s)

TRL Limited
Crowthorne House, Nine Mile Ride, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 3GA
+44 (0)1344 773131

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £449,475.00

Actual start date: 01 September 2003

Actual completion date: 31 March 2006

Publication(s)

Progress on the Development of the Procedures for the Consumer Testing of Child Restraints - NPACS
Author: Le Claire, M. (TRL) and Cheung, G. (TRL)
Publication date: 14/09/2004
Conference Paper
Source: Proceedings of "Protection of Children in Cars" International Conference, Cologne, Germany, September 14-15, 2004

Aims of the New Programme for the Assessment of Child restraint Systems
Author: Le Claire, M. (TRL) and Bygrave, S. (TRL)
Publication date: 01/07/2003
Conference Paper
Source: Proceedings of "Protection of Children in Cars" International Conference, Cologne, Germany, July 2003.

NPACS (New Programme for the Assessment of Child restraint Systems) Phase 1 Final Report
Author: Gee Cheung and Marianne Le Claire
Publication date: 10/05/2006
Published
Source: mailto: Bob.Moran@dft.gsi.gov.uk

NPACS (New Programme for the Assessment of Child restraint Systems) Final Report to the EC
Author: NPACS Foundation Committee
Publication date: 10/05/2006
Published
Source: mailto: Bob.Moran@dft.gsi.gov.uk

NPACS (New Programme for the Assessment of Child restraint Systems) Accident Studies Analysis Report
Author: TRL Ltd and VSRC
Publication date: 30/09/2004
Unpublished
Source: mailto: Bob.Moran@dft.gsi.gov.uk

Summary of results

  1. A research programme has been undertaken which has resulted in a successful proposal for the assessment of child restraints for consumer information. A complete set of protocols have been developed. The assessment includes aspects of usability and the performance in frontal and side impacts. A rating scheme has been proposed which will convert the results of the separate assessments into a performance rating in five levels. A website has been created and a programme for the collection of and storage of test data and the calculation of the rating has been developed but not yet delivered. At this stage, the NPACS Foundation Committee members will have to decide how to proceed to the next stage, where routine testing and publication will take place.