posted 5 years ago

The Law on Child Car Safety

The law requires all children travelling in cars to use the correct child restraint until they are either 135 cm in height or the age of 12

The law requires all children travelling in cars to use the correct child restraint until they are either 135 cm in height or the age of 12 (which ever they reach first). After this they must use an adult seat belt but there are a few exceptions that motorists may be unaware of and it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that children under the age of 14 are restrained correctly in accordance with the law.

Children up to the age of three years old travelling in the front seat of a car must use the correct child restraint, it is illegal to carry a child in a rear facing child seat in the front which is protected by an active frontal airbag. In the rear seat of the car the child must use the correct child restraint. If travelling with a child under three in a licensed taxi or licensed hire car and no restraint is available the child can travel unrestrained in the rear. Children up to the age of 12 or 135 cm in height must use the correct child restraint in the front or the rear of the car. Exceptions are in a licensed taxi or private hire vehicle, if the child is travelling a short distance for a reason of unexpected necessity or if there are two occupied child restraints in the rear which prevent fitment of a third. A child aged three or over may travel unrestrained in the rear seat of a vehicle if seat belts are not available. Children over 1.35 metres in height or who are 12 or 13 years old must wear an adult seat belt in the front and rear of a car and it is the drivers responsibility to ensure the child is correctly restrained. Over the age of 14 an adult seat belt must be worn in the front or rear seat and it is the responsibility of the passenger to ensure they are wearing the seatbelt.

If you are convicted of failing to wear a seat belt as a driver or passenger, you could face a fine of up to £500 and if you are a driver failing to ensure that a child passenger is using the correct child restraint or seatbelt you will face a £500 fine. You could also face civil proceedings for damages, if you failed to safely carry someone else's child.

For detailed fitting instructions, Brake (the road safety charity) has a great guide here
Child safety week guide