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Seatbelts - again!


Tony Jones

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I know a lot has been written about the wisdom/legality of letting people travel in unbelted seats, but can anyone give me chapter and verse on the law on this?

Specifically: my Cavarno has 4 belted travel seats. However, one of them can be dropped down, and a backrest added, to form a side-facing 2-seater sofa, so we usually keep it that way when touring, as it's just the two of us. At home, we set up the four-seater configuration for use as our car.

EXCEPT that about once a week we give a lift to church to three people who can't walk very well. Although I don't like using the sideways unbelted seats, I decided that (strictly for local use) I'd do it, rather than have them try to walk the mile or so to church.

So, accepting all the reasons why it's not ideal (PLEASE don't rehearse them all again for me - I agree!), can anyone tell me if, in a 2008 van, it's actually ILLEGAL to carry passengers in seats that aren't designated, belted, travel seats?

I know it's perfectly legal on much older vans, and I've an idea it's now illegal on new ones, but where was the "cut-off?"

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Tony, it would appear that as you only have 4 belted seats (including driver) you can only 'legally' carry 4 for travel. The other pertinent point which hasn't been mentioned is insurance - I assume your camper is insured as a 4 seat vehicle ... if so you could be making your insurance void too!!! 8-)

 

We have a Chrysler Ypsilon car which we bought earlier this year, it only has 4 seat belts as it is the base model, however the next model up has 5 seat belts (and more 'restrictive' seat width) but is otherwise exactly the same (same body etc), however as most of the time there is only the two of us it isn't a problem. Once a year though (usually) we want to transport 5 (including driver) when we bring my Mum and hubby's Dad & Step Mum round for a New Year meal together at our place. We could 'break the rules' and do so (with the possible consequences) but the easiest solution for us is for just one of us to go and pick them up! Now if we'd ONLY got the Smart car which is a pure 2 seater it could have proved to be interesting trying to stuff them in the boot instead which is what my Mum suggested the other day when I took her home in the Smart after Christmas dinner - as she didn't like me being out in the dark on my own she suggested hubby should come too and that he could sit in the back!!! Tempting just to see him try to 'fit' in ... but I resisted! :D (lol)

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Hi Tony.

 

My understanding is the same as Keith's and pepe's, including the interpretation of using the re-configured folding seat in beltless condition.

 

However, there is another legal issue, not statutory but contractual, that you may be overlooking. My guess is that by doing as you have, you may have inadvertantly invalidated your insurance. Should the worst happen, and the passengers be thrown from their seats (as a result of an accident or swerving to avoid one), would your insurer meet any claim against you, should one be brought?

 

Your parishioners may not do this themselves but, depending on circumstances and outcomes, a distraught relative might be motivated to do so on their behalf. Clearly, I don't know the area, so you may judge the possibility so remote as to discount it. However, still possibly something to check if only for peace of mind?

 

On which thought, Happy New Year! :-)

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Thanks everyone - especially Keith for the links to the details.

(Mel & Brian - I've been worried about you two for a while now!)

 

Clearly what I've been doing, however occasionally and locally, was in fact illegal, so it stops now.

That was the question I wanted an answer to, and now I have it.

 

The insurance issue would depend on the legality (or otherwise) of carrying the extra passenger, and two of them not being belted. If that had proved legal, then the insurers would have just had to put up with it (since there's nothing specific in the policy about number of passengers, or seat belts). Since it's NOT legal, those passengers at least weren't insured - another good reason for getting them to make other arrangements.

 

Thanks again, thread closed!

(sorry, forgot I can't do that - I'm not a Mod on here!)

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Tony Jones - 2013-12-30 7:36 PM

 

Thanks everyone - especially Keith for the links to the details.

(Mel & Brian - I've been worried about you two for a while now!)

 

Clearly what I've been doing, however occasionally and locally, was in fact illegal, so it stops now.

That was the question I wanted an answer to, and now I have it.

 

The insurance issue would depend on the legality (or otherwise) of carrying the extra passenger, and two of them not being belted. If that had proved legal, then the insurers would have just had to put up with it (since there's nothing specific in the policy about number of passengers, or seat belts). Since it's NOT legal, those passengers at least weren't insured - another good reason for getting them to make other arrangements.

 

Thanks again, thread closed!

(sorry, forgot I can't do that - I'm not a Mod on here!)

Tony ... you little 'coward'! :D You are just afraid of the old dears and wanted someone else to provide the info so you could blame us for you not taking them any more ..... (lol)

 

I think you should let your good lady drive and take them, and you can walk the mile as a penance for your sins!!! :->

 

However, my Mum is 88 and she's a right battle axe at times so I can understand you being frightened!!! :D

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