Seatbelts and child restraints protect people by holding them in their seats when there’s a crash or when the vehicle stops suddenly. If you don’t wear a seatbelt and you’re involved in a crash, you could be thrown out of your vehicle. Always remember to fasten your seatbelt before you drive off.

Child restraints

Under 7s

Children under 7 years old must be properly restrained in an approved child restraint. However, if the child is travelling in a taxi that doesn’t have an approved child restraint, the child must sit in the back seat.

7 year olds

Children aged 7 years old must use a child restraint if available.

If it’s not available, the child must be restrained as securely as possible using any child restraint or seatbelt available, whether or not that child restraint or seatbelt is approved.

Child restraints

How to wear a seatbelt

Most seatbelts are retractable. This means they stretch automatically to the correct length when you fasten them and lock only if the vehicle stops suddenly.

If your vehicle has a non-retractable seatbelt, you'll need to adjust its length before you fasten it. There should be just enough room to slide the palm of your hand between the belt and your chest.

Never put an adult and a child together in the same seatbelt. 



As the driver, you’re responsible for making sure passengers under the age of 15 are using an approved child restraint or seatbelt.

The seatbelt must be worn correctly and kept securely fastened while the vehicle is in motion on the road.

Passengers 15 years and over are responsible for making sure that they wear their own seatbelts correctly and that they keep them fastened while the vehicle is in motion.

Bus drivers in vehicles with passenger seatbelts aren’t responsible for ensuring passengers wear them, except for passengers under the age of 15 sitting in a front seat alongside the driver.

Special exceptions

You don’t have to wear a seatbelt if you:

  • hold a current doctor’s certificate that says you don’t have to wear one for medical reasons
  • are reversing and it’s difficult to see while wearing one.