Safety in your car
New regulations governing the use of child car seats came into force on 18 September 2006.
Below is a brief summary of the new regulations - for a more comprehensive guide see the GOV.UK website.
|Category||Front seat||Rear seat||Who is
|Driver||Seat belt must be worn if available||Driver|
|Child up to 3 years*||Correct child restraint must be used*||Correct child restraint must be used*. If one is not available in a taxi, may travel unrestrained||Driver|
|Child from 3 birthday up to 135 cms in height (or 12 birthday, whichever they reach first)**||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 a taxi-For a short distance for reason of unexpected necessity-Two occupied child restraints prevent fitment of a third A child 3 and over may travel unrestrained in the rear seat of a vehicle if seat belts are not available||Driver|
|Child over 135 cms in height (approx 4’ 5”) or 12 or 13 years||Seat belt must be worn if available||Seat belt must be worn if available||Driver|
|Adult passengers (i.e. 14 years and over)||Seat belt must be worn if available||Seat belt must be worn if available||Passenger|
In addition, the revised regulations also say that rear-facing baby seats must not be used in a seat protected by a frontal air bag unless the air bag has been deactivated manually or automatically.
*Children under 3 years must use the child restraint appropriate for their weight in all cars, vans and other goods vehicles, with the single exception of the rear of taxis. They cannot travel otherwise. This means for example that they may not travel in cars, vans or goods vehicles, which do not have seat belts installed.
*Examples. A 7 year old who is 140 cms tall is over the height for a child restraint and may use an adult seat belt. A 12 year old who is 135 cms tall is over the age threshold and therefore may use an adult belt.
*If no seat belts are fitted in the front then children under 135 cms in height (who are also under 12 years of age) cannot travel in the front.
In buses and coaches (including minibuses), seated passengers aged 14 years and above will have to use seat belts where they are fitted. Regulations requiring children 3 years to 13 years to use seat belts (or child restraints if they are available) in these vehicles will be brought forward as soon as practicable. The regulations will not include any obligation for anyone to provide child restraints in these vehicles.
Members of the Safety Education Team are able to provide advice on car occupant safety and regularly visit ante and post natal groups at local clinics and around the borough to discuss the choice and use of child car seats.
The FITSAFE / SITSAFE scheme is a partnership between the council and local garages which offers free advice on the correct fitting of car seats.
FITSAFE / SITSAFE Scheme participating garages
Broad Lane Garage,
Broad Lane, Hampton.
Telephone: 020 8979 2233
Telephone: 020 8892 4604
Additional car safety expert advice
In Car Safety Centre,
Tel: 01908 220909
Quickfit Safety Belt Service Ltd
Inertia House, Lowther Rd
Tel: 020 8206 0101
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is a useful source of general information and for more information about children's car seats, visit the child car seats website.
Contact the Safety Education Team
If you have any queries about any of our services please get in touch.
Safety Education Team
London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames
44 York Street
Telephone: 020 8487 5131