South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership
  • In a car

    In a car
    Travelling in a car can be fun, but you must always ensure that you stay safe. Make sure you don't distract the driver and, most importantly, follow these guidelines about seatbelts and car seats.


    • boy in seat beltIt the Law that you wear a seatbelt when travelling in a car

     If you are under 135cm in height or 12 years old it is the Law that you need to be sat in an appropriate child seat/restraint

     The reason why is because both a seatbelt and child seat/ restraint is designed to reduce the risk of injury in a collision and could potentially save your life.

    Most vehicles are fitted with seatbelts - there are some exceptions for example some classic cars. But the Law states that if there is a seatbelt fitted it MUST be worn - there are very few exceptions to this rule (certain medical exemptions, for which you will need a certificate).

    Until you are 14 years old it is the responsibility of the driver to ensure that you are using your seatbelt (or child seat if applicable). However, once you turn 14 you are classed as an adult and responsible for using the seatbelt themselves. If someone is found to not be using a seatbelt they can be fined up to £500!

    Wearing a seatbelt saves over 2,000 lives a year!

    If someone is travelling in the back of a car without a seatbelt and is involved in an accident they would hit the seat in front (and anyone sat in it) with a force 30-60 times their own body weight.

    The seat in front effectively becomes a brick wall and could result in death or serious injury to both passengers.


    Child Seats

    Baby in seat no dummyThe law requires that all children should use a suitable child seat if they are under the height of 135cm tall (4ft 11ins) or until their 12th birthday (which ever comes first). After this they must use an adult seatbelt.

    There are different types of seats for children depending  on their weight and approximate age. Using the correct seat and ensuring it is properly fitted is really important.

    • Seats where possible should be fitted in the rear of a car - avoiding the use of the front passenger seat where possible

    • If there is an air bag fitted in the front passenger seat of the car, the airbag must be deactivated if a rear-facing car seat is to be used. This is because it can cause injuries to the child should the air bag go off. 

    • If using a seatbelt, make sure it fits properly over the shoulder and away from the neck. 

    • Try to leave the seatbelt on when sat in the car even when it is not moving, only remove it when you are about to get out.