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  • Writer's pictureAndy Lloyd

The Rules for Carrying Children in Cars

Whether you're a parent, relative, friend or carer, if you carry children in a car, you'll need to understand the legal requirements. As the driver, you’re responsible for seat belt wearing and restraint use by children under 14 years. This is for the safety of everyone in the car, and the penalty for offenders is a £100 fixed penalty notice.


Lloyds Driver Training - Children in Cars

With few exceptions, all children under 12 years and under 135cm tall must use an appropriate child restraint when travelling in any car or goods vehicle.


  • All children under 3 years old must use an appropriate child restraint when travelling in any car or goods vehicle (except in the rear of a taxi if a child seat is not available).

  • Children aged 3 or more years old, and up to 135cm (approx 4ft 5in) tall, must use an appropriate child restraint when travelling in cars or goods vehicles fitted with seat belts. A few exceptions are permitted.

  • Rear-facing baby seats mustn't be used in seats with an active front air-bag

  • If seat belts are provided, you can't carry more people in the rear than there are seats fitted with belts or restraints.

  • Your child seats must be approved to the '03' or later version of Regulation 44, so an approval label with 44.03 or 44.04 is ok but you can't use a seat with 44.02

  • Since April 2015, child seats may also be approved to Regulation 129 (i-Size)


Exemptions


There’s a special exemption for children over 3 on an occasional journey (unforeseen emergency) over a short distance – so it doesn’t apply to the regular school run. And the child must still use an adult belt and must sit in the rear.


The only exemption for children under 3 is when they travel in the back of a taxi and a child seat’s not available.

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