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15th April 2017

Seat Belt Laws

People often ask about the situation with seat belts in classic cars, especially relating to children. Below is an extract from the official government website. Please not section 3.

Seat belts: the law

Notes

  1. Overview

You must wear a seat belt if one is fitted in the seat you’re using – there are only a few exceptions.

You’re also only allowed 1 person in each seat fitted with a seat belt.

You can be fined up to £500 if you don’t wear a seat belt when you’re supposed to.

Children

You must make sure that any children in the vehicle you’re driving are:

  • in the correct car seat for their height or weight until they reach 135 centimetres tall or their 12th birthday, whichever is first
  • wearing a seat belt if they’re 12 or 13 years old, or younger and over 135cm tall

You can be fined up to £500 if a child under 14 isn’t in the correct car seat or wearing a seat belt while you’re driving.

  1. When you don’t need to wear a seat belt

You don’t need to wear a seat belt if you’re:

  • a driver who is reversing, or supervising a learner driver who is reversing
  • in a vehicle being used for police, fire and rescue services
  • a passenger in a trade vehicle and you’re investigating a fault
  • driving a goods vehicle on deliveries that is travelling no more than 50 metres between stops
  • a licensed taxi driver who is ‘plying for hire’ or carrying passengers

Medical exemptions

Your doctor may say you don’t have to wear a seat belt for a medical reason. They’ll give you a ‘Certificate of Exemption from Compulsory Seat Belt Wearing’. You must:

  • keep this in your vehicle
  • show it to the police if you’re stopped

You’ll also need to tell your car insurer.

Talk to your doctor for more information and read ‘medical exemptions from compulsory seat belt wearing’.

Wearing a seat belt while pregnant

You must wear a seat belt if you’re pregnant, unless your doctor says you don’t have to for medical reasons.

Wearing a seat belt if you’re disabled

You must wear a seat belt if you’re a disabled driver or passenger, unless you don’t have to for medical reasons. You may need to adapt your vehicle.

  1. If your vehicle doesn’t have seat belts

If your vehicle doesn’t have seat belts, for example it’s a classic car, you aren’t allowed to carry any children under 3 years old in it.

Children over 3 are only allowed to sit in the back seats.

These rules only apply if your vehicle was originally made without seat belts.