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Seat Belts

The law requires that drivers and passengers aged 14 and over in cars, vans and other commercial vehicles must wear a seat belt if available (with very few exceptions). As a driver you are responsible for ensuring that anyone under the age of 14 wears a seat belt or uses an appropriate child restraint as required in the regulations.

On 18 September 2006, the law concerning children using seat belts and child restraints changed.

Seatbelt IconMany circumstances can combine to make the difference between a "shunt" and a crash resulting in serious injury, though there is one simple action guaranteed to make a difference; wearing your seat belt.

The law states that all children up to 135cm tall (around 4'5") or the age of 12, whichever comes first, in the front or rear seats in cars, vans and other goods vehicles must travel in the correct child restraint for their weight with very few exceptions.

NEVER put a rear facing car seat in a front passenger seat that has the airbag engaged.

In a collision at 30mph any item in your vehicle will weigh 30 times its weight. Always strap in child seats even when not in use.
For further advice on the law regarding child car seats. 
For advice in layman's terms child seat safety.

​In limited circumstances, children can travel without the correct child restraint:

  • In a licensed taxi or licensed private hire vehicle. If the correct child restraint is not available then, in the rear seat only, children under three may travel unrestrained, children aged three years and over must use an adult seat belt.
  • In cases of unexpected necessity, if the correct child restraint is not available - in the rear seat only a child of three years or more must use an adult belt. This exemption does not apply to children under three years and does not cover regular school runs or other journeys that are planned in advance.
  • Where two occupied child restraints in the rear seat prevent you fitting a third - in this case, provided the front seat is occupied, a third child aged three years and over can use an adult seat belt in the rear. If the front seat is free, then they must sit there using the correct child restraint.
  • In older vehicles with no rear seat belts children three years and over may travel unrestrained.

In The Back

Seat belts must be worn in the front and back of your vehicle. An adult who is not wearing a seat belt will be equivalent in weight to a small elephant and if he or she flies through the air when the vehicle comes to an abrupt stop it could cause serious damage.