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Child seats and wallet victims of rear-ending

Stacey Swift, right, and Holly Hullena, left, with the new baby capsule for Mika Swift. PHOTO/KAREN COLTMAN

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After a car was driven into the back of the Swift family car when they were turning into their Carterton driveway, Plunket advised them to get a new baby capsule for Mika who was a passenger when it happened.

At the Wairarapa Road Safety Council office on Wednesday, technician Holly Hullena checked over what three-month-old Mika’s mum Stacey was using instead of the old capsule in the accident.

“When a capsule is in a car accident it should be replaced, and at least, brought into us to be checked over,” Hullena said.

“All Stacey’s seats had to be changed because if they are at all damaged, next time they may not save the children.

“The capsule or child’s car seat should be treated the same as a bike helmet that has been bashed in an accident – it is generally no good afterwards.”

After the car accident on August 7 Swift disposed of her three car seats. She had a convertible car seat, booster seat and a baby capsule. Her three children are all at an age where they still need some level of child seat. She went to WINZ to get new ones organised.

“WINZ advanced me the money but I now have another thousand dollars of debt to pay back for the WINZ loan for new seats,” Swift said.

The family has a car on loan. The cost to repair the Swift’s car was about $4500. It was not insured. They have raised $1000 towards a new family car using the public fundraising platform ‘givealittle’.

The driver who crashed into them told police at the scene he was changing the station on the car stereo and was distracted.

Hullena said that getting distracted for a few seconds while driving can result in about 50 metres of driving, if driving at a speed of 80kmh, without looking at the road.

“Not only are you driving without looking, if something happens which you need to react to, your reaction time is slower and this can lead to an accident in itself,” Hullena said.

Hullena is the only qualified Wairarapa-based child car restraint technician.

The court hearing about the car accident is set down for September 1 at the Masterton District Court.

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