Child Car Seats

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Child Car Seats Information

Recently the UK child car seat laws have changed. Children are now categorised into one of four groups:-

Penalties for breaking the new law include on-the-spot fines of £30 or up to £500 in court.

Further sources of information.

Under the new child car seat legislation:

Children Under 3 Years Old

A child under 3 years old must use a correct child restraint when travelling in either the front or rear of a vehicle.
If a child restraint is not available in a taxi, then the child may travel in the rear of the vehicle.

The driver of the vehicle is responsible for ensuring that the child is correctly restrained.

Children Over 3, Under 12 years old or 1.35 metres tall

Children covered by this group must use the correct restraint in the front of a vehicle.
When travelling in the rear of the vehicle the child must use the correct restraint.

In the event of the correct restraint not being available, a child in this group may use an adult seat belt under 3 scenarios:-

  1. In a private hire vehicle or licensed taxi
  2. For a short distance in the event of an unexpected necessity
  3. If two child restraints are occupied and their presence prevents a third being fitted

In addition a child in this group may travel in the rear of a car if there are no seat belts.

The driver of the vehicle is responsible for ensuring that the child is correctly restrained.

Children over 1.35 metres in height or 12/13 years old

Children in this group must wear a seat belt if available when either travelling in the front or rear of a vehicle.

The driver of the vehicle is responsible for ensuring that the child is correctly restrained.

Children 14 years old and over

Children in this group must wear a seat belt if available when either travelling in the front or rear of a vehicle.

The Passenger is responsible for ensuring that the child is correctly restrained.

Rear facing child seats should not be used in the front of a vehicle when an active air bag is fitted.

Further sources of child car seat information

We recommend www.carseatdata.org for information on car seat compatibility - i.e. which makes of car seat fit which models of cars.

An comprehensive list of child car seat manufacturers is available at www.childcarseats.org.uk.

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