MORE than 60% of Glasgow parents are putting their children at risk by placing them in poorly fitted car seats, according to new research.
Hundreds of major faults, including incompatible car seats and placing kids in rear-facing child seats with a frontal airbag, were discovered by safety experts in cars throughout Scotland.
Road Safety Scotland (RSS) also found nearly 500 minor faults from almost 2000 car seats checked last year, which included twisted seatbelts and not securing baby seats tightly enough.
The survey has prompted RSS to launch a drive to educate parents on the importance of in-car safety.
Michael McDonnell, director of RSS, said: "While there are many who get it right, there is still a number of people who don't have the proper seat for their child or their car.
"Unfortunately around half of the seats checked in 2011 had faults – 305 of which were major faults.
"Alarmingly, 90 of these cars had unsuitable seats for either the child or the vehicle.
"Glasgow showed that only 37% of the people we spoke to had fitted their children's car seats correctly."
From 1994 until 1998 an average of 145 children were killed or seriously injured in car accidents each year in Scotland.
The UK Government set a target of reducing this figure by 50% by 2010.
Last November, Transport Scotland announced that, by 2010, Scotland had recorded a 72% reduction – 22% better than anticipated. However, Mr McDonnell said the seat-check figures proved there was still a gap in education among Scotland's road-users.
He said: "It's important people who are trusted to transport children around don't just make do with any means.
"They have to take responsibility for children in their care and ensure they have the proper equipment to do so – and not just for legal or cosmetic purposes."
The organisation is taking its message to Scotland's biggest baby and toddler event next month.
A team from RSS will be on hand promoting in-car safety for children aged 0-15 at the Scottish Baby & Toddler Show at the SECC from April 27 to 29.
They will demonstrate the problems that can arise, such as the buckle crunch, when the buckle of the seat belt has been pulled on to a hard part of the car seat instead of the web of the belt. This will shatter the buckle on impact.
Visit www.thescottishbabyandtoddlershow.com or call 0844 395 4000 for more information.