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Seatbelts


Answer

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.


Answer

  Front Seat Rear Seat Who is responsible?
Driver Seat belt MUST be worn if fitted   Driver
Child under 3 years of age Correct child restraint MUST be used Correct child restraint MUST be used. If one is not available in a taxi, may travel unrestrained Driver
Child from 3rd birthday up to 1.35m in height or 12th birthday whichever they reach first Correct child restraint MUST be used Correct child restraint MUST be used where seat belts are fitted. MUST use adult belt if the correct child restraint is not available:
* in a licensed taxi/private hire vehicle or
* for reasons of unexpected necessity over a short distance or
* if two occupied child restraints prevent fitment of a third
Driver
Child over 1.35 metres (approx 4ft 5ins in height) or 12 or 13 years Seat belt MUST be worn if available. Seat belt MUST be worn if available. Driver
Adult passengers aged 14 and over Seat belt MUST be worn if available. Seat belt MUST be worn if available. Passenger
 


Answer

The UN have notified the Department for Transport that there are new rules for the manufacture of backless booster seats. The new rules mean that manufacturers aren't allowed to introduce new models of backless booster seats for children shorter than 125cm or weighing less than 22kg.

However, it's important to realise that the change doesn't affect existing models of seats or cushions and it certainly doesn't mean they're unsafe or illegal. Therefore, if you have such a seat, you can still use it and you won't be breaking the law if you continue to use it. The change has been brought about because research indicates that high-backed booster seats offer better protection than backless booster seats, especially in side impacts.

Note that if you're about to buy a booster seat there may still be some of the older models available for sale. So if you want the new specification high-backed booster seat, make sure you read the label and know what you're buying. We would suggest you only buy from a reputable source and seek clarification from the shop if you need it.

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