Car Seat Restraint and Seatbelt Law


Safety Advice

Over 2000 lives are saved every year through the wearing of seatbelts. Most people who travel in the front seats know they have to wear a seatbelt, but often those travelling in the back don't. The law requires adult passengers travelling in the rear to wear a seat belt where one is fitted.  In a collision at 30 mph a passenger riding in the back of a car unrestrained will strike the front seat with a force of between 30 and 60 times their own body weight. The result could be the death or serious injury of not just the passenger but also anyone sitting in the front seat.

It is illegal to carry an unrestrained child in the front seat of any vehicle. Children under three years of age travelling in the front must be carried in an appropriate child restraint. If a child restraint is fitted in the front of a car, but not in the rear, children under three years of age must use that restraint. If an appropriate child restraint or seat belt is available in the front of a car, but not in the rear, children between 3 and 11 under 1.35cms in height must use the front seat restraint.

Proper Use of Seatbelts

  • A properly worn seatbelt greatly increases your chances of surviving a motor vehicle collision.  
  • No doubling up - only one person to a seat belt.  
  • A typical seat belt assembly consists of a lap and shoulder belt. The shoulder belt should be worn closely against the body and over the shoulder and across the chest, never under the arm. The lap belt should be firm against the body and low across the hips.  
  • Air bags do not take the place of a seat belt. When air bags activate during a motor vehicle collision, they reduce the forward movement of the upper torso and minimize impact. They do not prevent drivers and passengers from being thrown from the car.

When a seatbelt is worn correctly, it will apply most of the collision or stopping forces across the chest and pelvis, which are better able to withstand collision forces. A seatbelt should not be worn twisted, as the full width of the belt is required to spread motor vehicle collision forces across the body.

Wearing a seatbelt loosely or placing the shoulder belt under the arm or behind your back instead of across the chest, could, in the case of a collision or sudden stop, result in an injury-producing impact with the vehicle interior, or ejection from the vehicle. Wearing a lap belt across the stomach, instead of low across the hips, allows collision forces to be applied to the soft tissue of the body, increasing the chance of injury.

Pregnant women must wear seatbelts - wearing the lap and shoulder belt and sitting as upright as possible. The lap belt should be worn low so it pulls downward on the pelvic bones and not directly against the abdomen. (See Tips and Advice for Pregnant Women) 

THE LAW

 

 

Front Seat

 

Rear Seat

Whose

Responsibility

 

Driver

Seatbelt MUST be worn if Fitted

 

 

Driver

 

Child under 3yrs of age

Proper child restraint MUST be used

Proper Child restraint MUST be used

 

Driver

 

Child aged

 3-12 and up to 135cms in height

 

Proper child restraint MUST be used

Proper Child restraint MUST be used

MUST use adult seat belt   if child restraint is unavailable

 

 

Driver

Child aged

 12-13 and over 135cms in height

Seatbelt MUST be worn if Fitted

Seatbelt MUST be worn if  Fitted

 

Driver

 

Child 14yrs and over plus Adult Passengers

 

Seatbelt MUST be worn if Fitted

 

Seatbelt MUST be worn if Fitted

Passenger

But for everyone's safety drivers should ensure seat belts are worn

 

For further advice on Seat belts and Child Restraints visit http://www.childcarseats.org.uk

Car Seat Restraint and Seatbelt Law

RoadDriver Tips and Advice Article No28 -2010

Car Seat Restraint and Seatbelt LawCar Seat Restraint and Seatbelt LawCar Seat Restraint and Seatbelt Law

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