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Q332: Are there any exemptions to wearing a seatbelt?

The exemptions to wearing a seatbelt are:

  • a person who has a medical certificate, which states that on medical grounds it is not advisable for them to wear a seatbelt (including for pregnancy);
  • drivers of vehicles performing manoeuvres which include reversing (three point turn). This includes a qualified driver supervising a learner driver performing manoeuvres including reversing;
  • the driver of or a passenger in a goods vehicle on a journey not exceeding 50 metres undertaken for delivering or collecting anything;
  • a disabled person who is wearing a disabled person's belt;
  • a person driving/riding in a vehicle for fire brigade or police purposes or for carrying a person in lawful custody including the detained person himself;
  • the driver of a licensed taxi while being used for seeking hire, or answering a call for hire, or carrying a passenger for hire;
  • a private hire vehicle while it is being used to carry a passenger for hire;
  • a person driving a vehicle used under a trade licence whilst investigating or fixing a mechanical fault with the vehicle;
  • a person involved in a procession organised by or on behalf of the Crown or which is commonly or customarily held, or a procession which a notice under Section 11 of the Public Order Act 1986 has been issued;
  • a person conducting a test of competence to drive and the wearing of a seatbelt would endanger himself or any other person;
  • a person driving a vehicle if the driver's seat is not provided with an adult belt;
  • a person riding in the front of a vehicle if no adult belt is available for them in the front of the vehicle;
  • a person riding in the rear of a vehicle if no adult belt is available for them in the rear of the vehicle;
  • a person riding in a small or large bus which is being used to provide a local service in a built-up area (where the entire route consists of restricted roads);
  • a person riding in a small or large bus which is constructed or adapted for the carriage of standing passengers and on which the operator permits standing; or
  • a person riding in an ambulance while the person is providing medical attention or treatment to a patient which due to its nature or the medical situation of the patient cannot be delayed.

Failing to wear a seat belt outside any of these exemptions is an offence.

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