When carrying passengers or heavy loads, as a driver, you have various legal responsibilities.
Seat Belt LawAll new cars must be fitted with seat belts that cover every seat. If a seat belt is available to a driver or passenger then they must wear it. Old, 'classic cars' may well have no seat belts fitted, if so, you can drive or be a passenger in the car without wearing a seat belt.
The owner of the car must make sure that all seat belts are in good order, and that they conform to the regulations.
As an ordinary motorist you don't have to wear a seat belt:
- when carrying out a reversing manoeuvre
- if you are a holder of a valid medical exemption certificate
- if a seat belt has become defective on a journey, or previously, and arrangements have been made for the belt to be repaired.
- if an inertia belt has temporarily locked
Other exceptions apply to people in certain jobs such as taxi drivers and driving instructors.
The driver is responsible for making sure all children under the age of 14 wear a seat belt or use an approved child restraint.
|Front Seat: all vehicles||Rear Seats: cars, small minibuses|
|Driver||Seat belt must be worn if fitted|
|Child under 3 years old||Correct child restraint must be used||Correct child restraint must be used *|
|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 fitted**|
|Child over 1.35m in height,
or 12 or 13 years old
|Adult seat belt must be worn
|Adult seat belt must be worn if available|
(everyone over 14 years old)
|Seat belt must be worn if available||Seat belt must be worn if available|