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New rules about seatbelts

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Hi All


I seem to remember a thread recently about New Laws to do with seat belts in the rear of Motorhomes.


I have tried the search system for the last three days and it seems that it does not want to work.


My Motorhome as you can see is a 2007 registered Lunar Roadstar on a 2.8jtd Fiat allthough the vehicle is a 2006 model.


I do not have plans to take anyone with us in the Motorhome at present but it seems a bit ridiculous that you have a 4 berth Motorhome but can not take passengers with you.


The van has an end lounge so other than the drivers and passenger seats, we have no other seat belts.


I have trawled back to page 22 and cannot find the previous discusion also tried the DVLA site and cannot find any new rules abot seat belts.



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Hi Terry

Extract from my current manual


Designated driver and passenger seats are fitted with seat belts and MUST be worn.

Children, aged up to 3 years of age, must wear an appropriate child restraint suitable for their age and weight.

Children from 3 years of age and up to 135cm (4’5”) in height, or 12 years of age, whichever is reached first must use a restraint suitable for their age.

Children over 135cm (4’5”) in height or aged 12 or 13 years must wear a seat belt.

Note: It is the legal responsibility of the driver To ensure children aged up to 14 years old are suitably restrained.

For passengers aged 14 and over, it is their responsibility (not the driver) that a seat belt is worn.

Designated passenger seats within the habitational compartment of your motorhome are identified (fig. 1).


Seat belts are fitted for your safety and must be worn unless a ‘Certificate of Exemption from Compulsory Seat Belt Wearing’ is held. This Certificate must be produced if asked for by the Police – seat belt offences can result in a fine."



(Additional info - not my work - taken from A N Other site, but should clarify the position)

Seatbelts and the law (last updated April 2009)

We asked the Department for Transport for their interpretation on the law as it applies to seatbelts fitted in motorhomes, this article gives the essence of the information that they gave us.


The information below relates to the fitting of seatbelts and the wearing of seatbelts by adults. There is specific legislation, introduced in 2006, concerning the carrying of children in vehicles. Rather than trying to present all the somewhat complicated regulations here, please see:





For vehicles built up to Oxtober 2007 there was no legal requirement to have seat belts fitted to side-facing seats or seats that make up the accommodation area in motor caravans.

Regulation 46 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, as amended, states motor caravans first used on or after 1st April 1982 but before 1 October 1988 shall be equipped with anchorage points for the driver's seat and specified passenger seat (if any); and for motor caravans first used on or after 1st October 1988 shall be equipped with anchorage points for the driver's seat and any forward-facing front seat.

You can download a copy of the SI at:-




However, this did not preclude manufacturers fitting seat belts to forward facing or rearward facing seats within the accommodation area if they wished to do so.

Where seat belts are fitted they must be worn.


Seats in the rear of a campervan/motorhome did not, prior to October 2007, require seatbelts (whether forward, rearward or sideways facing) and it is not illegal to carry unrestrained passengers in them while travelling, providing the vehicle is not overloaded. It is not something we would recommend, however.


Although current seat belt wearing regulations do not prohibit carrying more passengers in vehicles than there are seat belts available, the police may prosecute drivers for carrying passengers in a manner that may injure someone.

We would advise that no-one should be carried in any unbelted seat in the rear of a motorhome.


An EU Directive (2005/40/EC) on the installation of seat belts required that from 20 October 2007 new vehicles have to have seat belts fitted on all seats except those seats intended solely for use when the vehicle is stationary.


The original advice given to us by the DfT was that, where seat belts are fitted, from May 2009, the seat belt wearing Directive would prevent more passengers being carried than there are seat belts in the rear of vehicles. This would have meant that from May 2009, in any vehicle of whatever age, where seat belts are fitted in the rear, more passengers may not be carried in the rear than there are seat belts available.


They now tell us:


"There will be no change in the regulations in May - our lawyers tell us that is not necessary because the existing regulations already adequately deal with the requirements of the seat belt wearing Directive. Our earlier view that we would need to change the regulations was mistaken."


"Seat belt wearing regulations cannot apply in seats where seat belts are not fitted. Therefore there can be no specific prohibition on using such seats even if other seats in the rear of the vehicle have seat belts fitted. Specifically, the regulations exempt passengers from using a seat belt if a seat belt is not "available". If all the seats with belts are already occupied, then seat belts are clearly not "available" and the remaining passengers can use the seats without belts."


The advisability of carrying unrestrained passengers is another matter, to quote the DfT spokesman:


'... the police can already act where people in the rear of any vehicle are considered to be carried in a dangerous manner because they are unrestrained. [Owners] should beware of unbelted passengers. In a crash, they can injure others in the vehicle ...'.


In addition to considering the legal and safety issues involved, owners who intend to carry passengers in unbelted seats must check with their insurers to confirm that this is acceptable to them.


Our advice is that, regardless of the letter of the law, all passengers should wear seat belts.


We are indebted to Rohan Pohl and Tim Norman from the Department for Transport for their time and patience in answering all our questions on this subject.


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flicka - 2010-04-14 12:52 PM


Hi Guys

Thanks for the comments but I can't take the praise.


First part - taken from my manual

& second part = (Additional info - not my work - taken from A N Other site, but should clarify the position)




I wouldn't worry to much about naming the website, my post previous to yours has the direct link, but you do have to scroll up a little.

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The 'A N Other' website referred to is mine - thank you Colin for posting the link.


For the benefit of those who copy and paste information, this is the copyright statement from my site:

"If you wish to reproduce any information published here, including copying to online discussion groups or forums, please make a request via our contact form. Information reproduced without our express permission is an infringement of copyright and we may take action against anyone so doing. Direct links to our pages are welcome."


In general I don't object too much to limited copying, providing that the source is attributed.



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