Author Topic: INFANT/CHILD CAR SEAT LEGALITIES - US & UK  (Read 11125 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Shahbanou

  • Bamboozled
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 18728
  • Joined: Sep 2003
  • Gender: Female
  • Liked: 0
INFANT/CHILD CAR SEAT LEGALITIES - US & UK
« on: August 10, 2007, 08:54:38 AM »
The UK position

http://www.childcarseats.org.uk/law/index.htm

Cars

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. There are very few exceptions which are set out below.

It is the driver's responsibility to ensure that children under the age of 14 years are restrained correctly in accordance with the law.

Click here to go back to the top of the page.Children up to 3 years old


Children up to 3 years old MUST use the correct child restraint.In the Front Seat

The child 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

The child MUST use the correct child restraint.

In a licensed taxi or licensed hire car, if a child restraint is not available then the child may travel unrestrained in the rear. This is the only exception for children under 3, and has been introduced for practical rather than safety reasons. You should always think about ways to make sure that a child seat is available.


It is the driver's legal responsibility to ensure that the child is correctly restrained.

Click here to return to the top of the page.

Children aged 3 and above, until they reach EITHER their 12th birthday OR 135cm in height

Children over 3 and up to 135 cms in height or the age of 12 MUST use a child restraint,with very few exceptions.In the Front Seat

The child MUST use the correct child restraint.

In the Rear Seat

The child MUST use the correct restraint, where seat belts are fitted.

There are three exceptions where there is not a child seat available. In each case the child MUST use the adult belt instead. They are -

1) in a licensed taxi or private hire vehicle;

2) if the child is travelling on a short distance for reason of unexpected necessity;

3) if there are two occupied child restraints in the rear which prevent the fitment of a third.

In addition, a child 3 and over may travel unrestrained in the rear seat of a vehicle if seat belts are not available.

It is the driver's legal responsibility to ensure that the child is correctly restrained.

Click here to return to the top of the page.

Children over 1.35 metres in height, or who are 12 or 13 years old


Children who are over 135cms in height, or who are 12 or 13 years old MUST use the adult seat belt

In the Front Seat

The adult seat belt MUST be worn if available.

In the Rear Seat

The adult seat belt MUST be worn if available.

It is the driver's legal responsibility to ensure that the child is correctly restrained.

 

Click here to go back to the top of the page.Passengers Over 14 years old

When travelling in the front or rear seat, an adult seat belt MUST be worn if available.

It is the responsibility of the individual passenger to ensure that they are wearing the seat belt.

Other Vehicles (vans, buses, coaches, minibuses and goods vehicles)

Click here to go back to the top of the page.Other Vehicles - Front Seats

The law requires children (and adults) travelling in the front of all vehicles, including vans, buses, coaches, minibuses and goods vehicles to use an appropriate child restraint or adult seat belts.

Click here to go back to the top of the page.Other Vehicles - Rear Seats

Rear Seats in Small Minibuses

Passengers sitting in the rear of minibuses that have an unladen weight of 2,540 kg or less must wear the seat belts that are provided. It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that :

    * children under 3 years of age use an appropriate child restraint if available.
    * children aged between 3 and 11 years, under 1.35 metres tall use an appropriate child restraint if available, or if not available, wear the seat belt, if available.
    * children aged 12 and 13 years (and younger children who are 1.35 metres or taller) use the seat belt, if available.

Passengers over the age of 14 years in smaller minibuses are legally responsible for wearing a seat belt themselves.

Rear Seats in Larger Minibuses

Passengers over the age of 14 MUST wear seat belts in the rear of larger minibuses (over 2,540 kg unladen weight). However, all passengers are strongly advised to wear seat belts or the correct child seat on all journeys.

Rear Seats in Coaches

Passengers over the age of 14 MUST wear seat belts in the rear coaches. However, all passengers are strongly advised to wear seat belts or the correct child seat on all journeys.

Click here to go back to the top of the page.Summary of the Seat Belt Laws for Cars, Taxis and Private Hire Cars
     Front seat    Rear seat    Who is responsible?
Driver    Seat belt MUST be worn if available.         Driver
Children under 3 years old    Correct child restraint MUST be used.    Correct child restraint MUST be used

If one is not available in a taxi, then the child may travel unrestrained in the rear    Driver
Children aged 3 and above, until they reach EITHER their 12th birthday OR 135cm in height    Correct child restraint MUST be used    Where seat belts fitted, correct child restraint MUST be used

MUST use adult belt if the correct child restraint is not available in three scenarios:

- in a in a licensed taxi or private hire vehicle ;
- for a short distance for reason of unexpected necessity;
- two occupied child restraints prevent fitment of a third.

In addition, a child 3 and over may travel unrestrained in the rear seat of a vehicle if seat belts are not available    Driver
Child over 1.35 metres, or 12 to 13 years    Seat belt MUST be worn if available    Seat belt MUST be worn if available    Driver
Adult passengers (ie 14 years and over)    Seat belt MUST be worn if available    Seat belt MUST be worn if available    Passenger

Click here to go back to the top of the page.More Passengers than Seat Belts

If there are not enough seat belts or child restraints in the car for all the passengers, then some may legally travel in the rear of the vehicle without wearing a seat belt. This may be legal, but it is not safe. Between 8 and 15 front seat occupants are killed every year by unbelted rear seat passengers flying forward in an accident.

The safest option is to only carry the same number of passengers as there are seat belts. If necessary, use two cars or make two journeys for the trip.

If you must carry a passenger for whom there is no seat belt, it is better for the heaviest passengers to wear a seat belt, because they would cause more severe injuries to other people in the car if they are thrown about in a crash.

The law will be changing in May 2009 to prevent the carrage of more passengers than there are seat belts, and the exact details of this law will be announced by the Department for Transport closer to the time.

Click here to go back to the top of the page.Legal Penalties

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.

As a driver, if you are convicted of failing to ensure that a child passenger is using an appropriate child restraint or wearing a seat belt according to the legal requirements described above, you could face a fine of up to £500.

In addition to the legal penalties, failure to wear a seat belt or failure to ensure that a child passenger uses an appropriate child restraint or wears a seat belt according to the legal requirements described above, could affect any claims against your motor insurance cover.

You could also face civil proceedings for damages, if (for example) you failed to safely carry someone else's child.

But, of course, the most serious penalty of all could be that you or a passenger loses their life!


The US position

The law varies from one state to another but there is a basic summary of each state's requirements here:

http://www.iihs.org/laws/state_laws/restrain2.html

and more information can be downloaded here:

http://www.boosterseat.gov/

Can I use a UK car seat in the US and vice versa?

The short answer is no you can't.

While it is not illegal to use a seat that does not have the required "E" mark if an approved seat is not available, it is unlikely that seats made for US cars will fit UK cars properly, and will therefore be unsafe.
http://www.childcarseats.org.uk/faqs/index.htm#international

There is a guide to US car seats here:

http://www.aap.org/family/carseatguide.htm

And some info on how to fit US car seats here:

http://www.iihs.org/research/topics/child_restraints/default.html

Hopefully this clarifies things somewhat. Another query that sometimes crops up is whether you should use a car seat on a plane. The answer there is to check with your airline as they all seem to have different requirements. Some want you to bring your seat, others provide a seat, others don't require one at all above a certain age.



« Last Edit: August 10, 2007, 09:07:05 AM by Britwife »


There are no comments yet for this topic. Do you want to be the first?