Car Safety Laws for Children

When seating your child in a car you should be aware of the laws surrounding seatbelts and child restraints as there are varying rules for different vehicles Car Maintenance Costs types and ages of child. In all of these cases it is the responsibility of the driver to make sure children are restrained in the correct way.
If your baby is in the front passenger seat and an airbag is present, it is against the law to use a rear facing How To Search Multiple Dealerships child seat. If the airbag was to release greater injury would be caused if the wrong restraint was used.
Children up to three
Should be correctly restrained in both the front and back of a car, the only exception is in a licensed taxi or licensed hire car where appropriate restraints are unavailable. In this situation a child can travel in the back unrestrained. However, you should try to ensure that the necessary child seating is available as this was introduced for practical reasons not safety.
Children over three and up to 12, or 1.35 metres tall
In 2006, a law was brought in to ensure seatbelts were positioned correctly across a child’s body. Smaller children are required to sit in a specific detachable car seat for safety. This law applies to children up to the age of 12 or 1.35 metres tall, whichever comes first.
There are exceptions to this rule where a child in this category must wear an adult seatbelt instead. If three child seats will not fit in the rear of the vehicle and two are filled, then the third child is permitted to wear an adult belt. Over a short distance in an emergency situation a child may wear an adult belt. In a private hire car or licensed taxi this is also permitted.
If seat belts are not present in the rear of a vehicle then a child over the age of three is permitted to travel without restraint.
Children over 1.35 metres tall or 12 years+
In the front and back of any vehicle a child must wear an adult seatbelt if available.
Passengers 14 or over must wear a seatbelt if provided in buses, coaches and minibuses.
Non UK citizens must also abide by the same rules and carry the appropriate child restraint. If you are renting a car then the company should be able to provide the necessary car seats if they are informed in advance.
Your child’s safety should be of the utmost importance, it is your responsibility to ensure your child is restrained correctly. When travelling in someone else’s car you should make sure that the car is appropriately equipped with the relevant child seat.

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