Motorhome Seat Belt Laws And Legislation
Motorhome seat belt safety is governed under similar laws to those of car seatbelt safety. The last few years have seen a change in some of the laws and there are some motorhome-specific regulations on wearing seatbelts.
The effects of not wearing a seatbelt whilst travelling in a motorhome could be very severe if you are involved in a crash. Crash tests have been carried out by numerous motorhome manufacturers and seat belts have now been designed to prevent and reduce, as much as possible, the effects of these kind of impacts.
Motorhome seat belt laws:
Motorhome seatbelt safety facts
- Up until the 1980s seatbelt laws were primarily concerned with front seat passengers
- As of April 2006 if seat belts are fitted then they must be worn by law
- Motorhomes registered prior to October 2007 must have seat belts fitted on seats that are planned for travel
- Retrospectively fitting seat belts is possible, however, installing new seat belts requires compliance with the law
- After 2007 all vehicles should have seatbelts for ‘designated’ travel – it’s not a retrospective rule though so it is not vital that you fit seatbelts
Seatbelt wearing exemptions
There are times when seatbelts do not have to be legitimately worn:
- When reversing it is not the law that you have to wear a seatbelt
- If you are driving a vehicle related to an emergency
- Goods vehicles making journeys with 50 metres in between stops
- If all designated seats are occupied then it is legal for additional passengers to travel in non-designated seats with no belts
- Exemptions do exist on medical grounds for some people. You will need a medical exemption certificate from your GP in order to do be officially exempt – this certificate may cost you
Children and motorhome seatbelts
- You must put a child under 3 in a belted seat in accordance with their weight
- Children over 12 can wear adult belts
- If you have a child who is under 12 but over 3 and is smaller than 150 cm in height then you will need to provide a seat with the appropriate constraint
- If there are no seatbelts in the back and you have a child who is under the age of 12 and smaller than 130cm in height then this person will have to travel in the front with a seatbelt
- Sideways facing seatbelts in your motorhome are referred to in a European Directive. It states that these seatbelts cannot be classed as ‘designated seats’ and are not permitted to be retro fitted or installed on new vehicles.
What to look for when purchasing a motorhome
When purchasing a motorhome you should check to see whether or not there is any corrosion which could lead to faults and also check the functionality of the seatbelt. Think about who will be travelling with you. If you have a family with young children then you will need to make sure the vehicle has the right amount of seatbelts in designated seating areas.
Bear in mind that even if you are operating within the confines of European or UK law then you should be firstly considering the safety of passengers. It is not just the safety of the unbelted passengers but also the safety of front facing ones. In the event of a high impact collision, passengers in the back of any vehicle can easily kill those in the front if they do not have seatbelts on.
Insurance could also be invalid if you have sideways fitted seatbelts and there is a risk of prosecution if back passengers are deemed to be travelling dangerously.
For more information, please enquire here.