Child Safety Laws In Cars Uk
It wasn’t until the 1960s that any thought was really given to child seats - and even then, they were simple booster seats designed to give children a better view out of windows than to keep them safe in the event of a crash.
If your vehicle does not have seat belts in the rear, a child aged three or older can travel in the back seat without a car seat and without a seat belt. This rule only applies if the car came without seat belts in the back originally.
All i-size car seats come with ISOFIX fitting points. This means you can fit the car seat to your car safely without relying on seat-belts. ISOFIX fitting points are increasingly fitted to new cars as standard.
Inspired by how astronauts travel backwards, medical doctor Bertil Aldman (subsequently professor in traffic safety at Chalmers University of Technology), developed the very first child seat prototype and tested it in a Volvo PV544.
However, safety experts recommend that you use a child car seat for all children under 150cm/4ft 11in. This is the legal requirement in Ireland and some other European countries, such as Germany and France.
If there’s no room for a third child seat in the back seat (where two occupied child car seats in the rear prevent the fitting of a third one) a third child under the age of three can’t travel unless they are in the front seat with the correct child seat.
You can’t take children under three on an unexpected journey over a short distance, in a vehicle without a seat belt or the correct child car seat. The only exception to this rule is if it's in a licensed taxi or minicab (private hire vehicles) and the child travels on the rear seats.
The same rules apply for children with disabilities or medical conditions, but they may use a disabled person’s seat belt or child restraint designed for their needs. A doctor may issue an exemption certificate if necessary.
Rear seat: Children under three must be in a child car seat. If there’s no room for a third child seat in the back of your vehicle. Children aged three or under can use the front seat but only if they are in a child car seat. If your vehicle does not have seat belts in the rear, a child under three can’t travel.
i-Size car seats go by height instead of weight. A true i-Size car seat will only use Isofix connectors, although some baby car seats can still be installed in your car via the car's adult seat belt. It's mandatory for a baby to be rear-facing in an i-Size seat until he or she is 15 months old.
The consequences of ignoring the legal requirements could be expensive (at best) or fatal (at worst). Police are able to administer an on-the-spot fine which could be as much as £500 if the case is referred to court.
Gov.uk states that children under three must be in a child car seat. If there’s no seat belt, they can’t travel. A child aged three or older can travel in a back seat without a car seat and without a seat belt if the vehicle doesn’t have one.