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Children and Seatbelts in the Back

Discussion in 'Technical Archive' started by blue beasty, Jun 6, 2017.

By blue beasty on Jun 6, 2017 at 2:33 PM
  1. blue beasty

    blue beasty Leaks an prone to bits dropping off Global Moderator

    Jun 10, 2007
    Likes Received:
    A definitive answer from the Dept for Transport, thanks to 300bhp/ton

    For adults in the front and rear, seat belts must be used if available.

    For children:-

    in the front: all those up to 135cms in height (or 12 years or over, whichever comes first) must use the correct child seat/booster for their weight with no exceptions. If over 135cm or 12 years and above, they are treated for the purposes of this legislation as adults;

    in the rear: where seat belts are fitted, than the same rules as for front seats apply but there are a few exceptions. One of those says that if belts are not fitted in the rear, then those 3 years and above may travel unrestrained. However, those under 3 years cannot travel – they must always use the correct baby/child seat for their weight in the front or rear.

    Beware of sideways facing seats: there is no legal requirement for seat belts to be fitted in sideways facing seats – in an impact, anyone using a belt in a sideways facing seat is at increased risk of serious injury. But if seat belts are installed then they must be used by adults.

    Please note especially that where seat belts are fitted, children who are legally required to use baby/child seats/boosters cannot travel in sideways facing seats because baby/child seats/boosters legally cannot be used in sideways facing seats. This does not mean that children may use an adult belt instead in these seats – it means that they cannot travel at all in sideways facing seats where belts are fitted. That may have an effect on carrying capacity. If extra seat belts are installed in the rear in order to carry children, they should be installed on forward or rearward facing seats – baby/child seats/boosters can be used in forward and rearward facing seats.

    Nothing in seat belt wearing legislation prevents the carrying of adults in seats that do not have seat belts installed – even if other seats in the rear have belts fitted. It goes without saying however those seats with seat belts should be used first.

    Remember that the police can take action if, in the judgement of an officer, passengers are being carried where “the manner in which they are carried is such that the use of the motor vehicle or trailer involves a danger of injury to any person”. The penalties for this offence are notably higher than for a seat belt wearing offence.

    If you are likely to carry passengers without seat belts, you might consult your insurer about their attitude should there be a claim. And bear in mind that if there is an impact, the body of anyone unrestrained is likely to be a considerable risk to those seated in the front or elsewhere in the rear.
    Dan6767, Gottschalk and 300bhp/ton like this.
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Discussion in 'Technical Archive' started by blue beasty, Jun 6, 2017.

    1. siwalkster
      I have a question about this where the child is between 3 and 12 (and less then 135 cms in height) and the forward facing seat has a lap belt only:
      As the point of a booster is to raise the chest and shoulder up to the shoulder strap so it doesn't cut across the neck, there is no gain to using this with a lap belt and it could even make the child more precarious.

      Do the rules say there is an exception where a lap belt is used so a booster need not be used?

      If not then I think there should be. If the back of the seat isn't particularly high raising the child up certainly makes them less stable (plus we are breaking the regs in our camper van!)
    2. NorfolkBird
      I had a look into this. I found a booster seat must not be used with a lap belt. A child can use a lap belt if that is all that is fitted in a forward facing seat. Technically I believe it is not against the law, but is a bad idea - I'm talking in reference to my situation which was using the middle front seat in the Defender. I bought a harness belt but ended up getting additional seats fitted instead.
      Turboman and neilly like this.
    3. neilly
      Hi, The links to the .gov website are here,(post 27) if this does not provide the info required, then I would suggest contacting the DVSA or the DfT.

      siwalkster likes this.
    4. NorfolkBird
    5. siwalkster
      Thanks, that's a really useful reply! (Confirms what I thought / suspected)
      NorfolkBird likes this.
    6. raywin
      Well thanks BB that is certainly a mixed bag,but at least it seems to be fairly clear.
    7. OneZero
      Thank you for posting this information. It's extremely helpful.