The law with regards to wearing a seatbelt is very strict in the UK. If you are found guilty of a seatbelt offence you could face a fine of £500.00. It is obligatory for an adult to wear a seatbelt when there is one available.
Under what circumstances am I excused from wearing a seat belt?
The only exceptions to this are in the following circumstances:
- You are in a vehicle used for police, fire or rescue services
- You are driving a goods vehicle that is travelling a maximum of 50 metres between stops
- You are a licensed taxi either carrying passengers or plying for hire
- You are a passenger in a trade vehicle and investigating a fault
- You are reversing or supervising a learner driver who is reversing
- You are a qualified driving examiner who might endanger yourself or others by being restricted by a seatbelt
- You may be exempt from wearing a seatbelt due to medical grounds, but only if you have been provided with a Certificate of Exemption from Compulsory Seat Belt Wearing from your doctor. This certificate must be kept in your vehicle at all times.
- If you are driving a car that is not equipped with seatbelts, such as a classic car, you do not have to wear a seatbelt. In these types of cars, it is an offence to carry a child under the age of 3 years. Children over the age of 3 years may travel in the back seat of this type of car. This only applied to cars that were originally manufactured without seatbelts.
- Further instances of seatbelt offences include over-occupancy, where there are more people seated in a vehicle than there are seatbelts available.
- Children must also use the correct car seat for their weight until they reach wither their 12th birthday or 135 cm tall, whichever occurs first.
What is a fixed penalty notice (FPN)?
Minor traffic offences, like not wearing a seatbelt, may result in the police issuing you with a one-off fine called a fixed penalty notice.