How To Follow UK Child Car Seat Rules
How To Follow UK Child Car Seat Rules
On September 18th 2006, a new set of regulations concerning child car seats was introduced in the UK. These regulations apply to all children, VideoJug is here to show you as parents, how to follow UK child seat rules properly, through this helpful video.
Step 1: Why is the law changing?
The previous laws date from 1993, when there were fewer vehicles on the road with rear seat belts. Now the vast majority do have rear seat belts, and the new laws reflect this change
Step 2: What the new law says
The new law applies to all children up to the age of 12 or who are under 135cm tall. The law says that these children must be seated in the appropriate baby seat, child car seat or booster seat when carried in a car. There are different rules for children under three and for those between 3 and 12.
So how does the new law apply to your child?
Step 3: Children under 3
A child under 3 years must always travel using the appropriate safety seat while travelling in any vehicle fitted with seat belts. They may not travel in cars where there are no seat belts available.
DO NOT fit a rear facing baby seat in the front passenger seat of a car that has a passenger airbag unless it has been manually or automatically deactivated. This is extremely dangerous and has been illegal as of 18th September 2006. The force of the airbag opening on impact could throw the child out of the chair towards the rear of the vehicle. The only exemption to this is that a child under the age of 3 may travel unrestrained in the rear of a licensed taxi or private hire car if there is no safety seat available.
Step 4: Children between 3 and 12 years old.
From their third birthday children up to 12 years old must use the correct safety seat while travelling in any vehicle. It's as simple as that. BUT there is an exception; once a child grows over 135 cm tall then they can use ordinary adult seat belts when travelling. To repeat: children aged between 3 and 12 years old must use the correct safety seat while travelling in any vehicle. The exception is for children who grow over 135 cm tall: they can use ordinary seat belts. So if your 9 year old boy is 140cm tall he can use an adult seat belt. If your 12 year old girl is only 130cm tall she can also use an adult seat belt.
Step 5: Exemptions for children between 3 and 12 years old.
Children aged between 3 and 12 CAN use an adult seat belt in the following situations. If travelling in a taxi or private hire vehicle where the appropriate safety seat is not available, or if they are travelling a short distance for a reason of unexpected necessity, for instance an emergency trip to hospital. Or if there are already two child restraints in the rear of the vehicle, preventing a third being fitted between them.
Step 6: Children over 12 or above 135cm
Children over 135cm in height or over the age of 12 must always wear an adult seat belt if available.
Step 7: Vehicles with no seat belts
If the car is old and there are no seat belts available, a child over 3 may travel unrestrained in the rear of the vehicle only. Children under 3 may never travel in a car with no seat belts.
Step 8: Safety standards
A new regulation will come into practice from May 2008. This means that all child car seats in the UK must conform to the United Nations Regulation R44.03. A UN approved seat in the UK will have a marking of the letter E and 44.03 or 44.04.
Until then, if you own a child car seat that conforms to an earlier regulation, you can still use it. However, as it will be many years old, you should consider buying a new seat that meets the latest standards.
Step 9: Penalties
If the passenger is under 14, it is the driver's responsibility to ensure the correct child restraint or seat belt is worn by the child at all times while travelling in a car. If the new law is contravened in any way, the driver risks a fixed penalty notice of £30. If the case goes to court, the driver could be fined up to £500.