You MUST wear a seat belt in cars, vans and other goods vehicles if one is fitted (see table below). Adults, and children aged 14 years and over, MUST use a seat belt or child restraint, where fitted, when seated in minibuses, buses and coaches. Exemptions are allowed for the holders of medical exemption certificates and those making deliveries or collections in goods vehicles when travelling less than 50 metres (approx 162 feet).
- Road Traffic Act 1988: Sections 14 & 15
- The Motor Vehicles (Wearing of Seat Belts) Regulations 1993
- The Motor Vehicles (Wearing of Seat Belts by Children in Front Seats) Regulations 1993
- The Motor Vehicles (Wearing of Seat Belts) (Amendment) Regulations 2006
Seat belt requirements. This table summarises the main legal requirements for wearing seat belts in cars, vans and other goods vehicles.
|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 1.35 metres 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. MUST use adult belt if correct child restraint is not available in a licensed taxi or private hire vehicle, or for reasons of unexpected necessity over a short distance, or if two occupied 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|