Cumbria Police will be taking part in a European-wide campaign this week, highlighting the dangers of not wearing a seat belt.
In a crash you’re twice as likely to die if you don’t wear a seatbelt.
Drivers and passengers aged 17-34 have the lowest seatbelt-wearing rates combined with the highest accident rate.
There is evidence that people are less likely to use seatbelts on short or familiar journeys – this puts them at serious risk of injury in a crash.
What Is The Law?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.