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they're there for our safety, so it's important to know the rules and follow them

Ever wondered exactly what the rules are around using seatbelts in the UK?

February 22nd 2019 info

Seatbelts are there to keep us safe, and taking a few moments to make sure you and your passengers are all following the rules can help save lives and prevent injuries on the road. Have you ever wondered what those rules are?

The law states that you must use a seat belt if the vehicle you're travelling in is fitted with one, and that drivers and passengers aged 14 and over in all cars, vans, and other commercial vehicles must wear a seatbelt, if there's one available. This applies to everyone, unless you qualify for a medical exemption and have the certification to prove it. What's more, if you're the driver, it's you who is responsible for making sure anyone under the age of 14 wears a seat belt or is fitted with an appropriate child restraint in your car.

Here's the breakdown of the laws around seat belts and child restraints in the UK:

Drivers

All drivers' seat belts must be worn if there is one fitted in the vehicle you're travelling in. The driver is responsible for ensuring this requirement is met.

Children under three

Children under three should be fitted with the correct child restraint. The only exception is when travelling in a vehicle where there isn’t one available, like a taxi.

Children aged 3+ up to 135cm in height or age of 12 – whichever they reach first

Children that fall under this bracket should be fitted with the correct child restraint for their age or weight. These must be used when seat belts are available and fitted.

Adult's belts in rear seats must be used if the correct child restraint is not available, for example when travelling in a taxi or for a short distance in an unexpected necessity, or if two occupied child restraints prevent you from fitting a third.

In any of these cases, the driver of the vehicle is the person responsible for the correct seat belt arrangements.

Children 12 or 13/over 135cm in height

When travelling in the front seat of a car, a child meeting this description must wear a seat belt or child restraint. The same applies when sitting in rear car seats.

Again, it's the driver who is responsible for ensuring passengers in this group are wearing the appropriate seat belt or child restraint.

All passengers over the age of 14

Any passenger over the age of 14 is responsible for their own use of a seat belt and should always wear one if there's one available.

Exemptions

Other than medical conditions, there are some further exemptions from wearing a seat belt. Some of these include:

·         A driver who is reversing, or supervising a learner driver who is reversing

·         Driving a goods vehicle on deliveries that is travelling no more than 50 metres between stops

·         A licensed taxi driver who is 'plying for hire' or carrying passengers

As a driver, penalties for not wearing a seat belt depend on who is in your car at the time.

Did you know that you or your passengers could face fines for not following the law? Drivers can be fined £500 and receive three penalty points for not wearing their seat belt or for carrying a child under the age of 14 without the appropriate restraint. Passengers over the age of 14 could face the same fine and be awarded 2 penalty points for breaking the rules.

The rules are there to keep us all safe, so we say clunk and click… buckle up and stay safe so everyone can enjoy the drive!

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