Truck

Seatbelts and Anchorage Points

Introduction
The Construction and Use Regulations (1986) relating to seatbelts and their anchorage points are a set of lengthy Regulations. The application is as follows:

It would be possible to set aside a series of pages dealing specifically with this subject, however, we have kept this part as concise as is practicable, but would suggest that all the C&U Regulations relating to this subject are considered reading.

Fitting requirements
Regulation 47(1) Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 states that seatbelts are required to be fitted to a motor vehicle to which Regulation 46 applies (see table below).

A seatbelt is required to be fitted in each forward-facing passenger seat for each child being carried in the vehicle (excluding disabled children in wheelchairs). If the coach or minibus concerned was first used on or after 1st October 2001 rearward-facing seats fitted with seatbelts which meet requirements may also be counted towards the total. Excludes local bus services and buses with more than 16 passenger seats not exceeding 7500kg gross or buses over 7500kg but with a max speed of less than 60mph i.e. buses which are neither minibuses nor coaches.

Anchorage Point and Seatbelt Fitting Requirements

Regulations 46(3) and 47(2) Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986

Item Vehicle Anchorage Points Seatbelts
1. Any vehicle first used before 1/4/1982 driver and specified passenger seat driver and specified passenger seat
2. Minibus with not more than 12 seats in addition to driver, motor ambulance, motor caravan, first used on or after 1/4/1982 and before 1/10/1988 driver and specified passenger seat driver and specified passenger seat
3. Minibus (not included in 7 or 8 below) not exceeding 3500kg gross, motor ambulance, motor caravan, first used on or after 1/10/1988 driver and each forward facing front seat driver and each forward facing front seat
4. Goods vehicle exceeding 3500kg gross first used on or after 1/10/1988 and before 1/10/2001 driver and each forward facing front seat Seatbelts not required
5. Goods vehicle exceeding 3500kg gross first used on or after 1/10/2001 driver and all forward facing front seats driver and each forward facing front seat
6. Coach first used on or after 1/10/1988 and before 1/10/2001 driver and all exposed forward facing seats driver and all exposed forward facing seats
7. Bus exceeding 3500kg gross, first used on or after 1/10/2001, (not an urban bus) driver and all forward facing and rearward facing seats driver and all forward facing and rearward facing seats
8. Bus not exceeding 3500kg gross, first used on or after 1/10/2001, (not an urban bus) driver and all forward facing and rearward facing seats driver and all forward facing and rearward facing seats
9. Passenger or dual-purpose vehicle (other than a bus) not in items 2 to 8, first used on or after 1/4/1982 every forward facing seat constructed or adapted to accommodate no more than 1 adult driver and specified passenger seat and, if first used on or after 1st April 1987, any forward facing front seat alongside the driver's seat and certain forward facing rear seats
10. Vehicle (other than a bus) not in items 2 to 9, first used on or after 1/4/1982 every forward facing front seat and every non-protected seat driver and specified passenger seat and if first used on or after 1st April 1987 any forward facing front seat alongside the driver's seat.

Not every anchorage point requires a seatbelt however. The type of seatbelt required depends on the vehicle and seat position to which it is fitted.

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Exemptions To Fitting Seatbelts
Regulations 47(4) and (4A) Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 Seatbelts are not required to be fitted to :-

Seatbelts save lives Buses and Coaches
Requirement to notify bus passengers to wear seatbelts;
Section 15B Road Traffic Act 1988 - summary offence - level 4 fine

[It is an offence for the operator of a bus in which any of the passenger seats are equipped with seat belts to fail to take all reasonable steps to ensure that every passenger is notified that he is required to wear a seat belt at all times when he is in a seat equipped with a seat belt, and the bus is in motion.

Notification can be by an official announcement, or audio-visual presentation, made when the passenger joins the bus or within a reasonable time of his doing so or by a sign prominently displayed at each passenger seat equipped with a seat belt.

Exceptions
A bus :-

Fitting of Seatbelts on Buses used to Carry Children
Regulation 48A Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986

Application
A coach or minibus used wholly or mainly for the purpose of carrying a group of 3 or more children (aged 3 or over to under 16 years) on an organised trip where the journey is being made for the purposes of the trip. Includes:

The definitions encompass vehicles which may not look like a minibus but non-the-less have more than 8 passenger seats.

Exemptions
Do not apply to vehicles:

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Maintenance of Seat belts (Inc anchorage points)
Regulation 48 Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986

Where a seat belt is required to be fitted (by Regulation 47), the seat belt and every anchorage point, fastening, adjusting device and retracting mechanism (if any) for that belt must comply with the following requirements:

These requirements also apply to:

Anchorage points provided for seat belts shall be used only as anchorages for the seat belts for which they are intended to be used or capable of being used.

Defences
The above requirements do not apply if:

Wearing of Seat belts Commercial Vehicle Drivers Seat
Adults

Requirement to wear seatbelts (front and rear)
Regulation 5 Motor Vehicles (Wearing Seat Belts) Regulations 1993
Every person aged 14 years or more who is:

any motor vehicle (other than a two wheeled motor cycle with or without a side car) shall wear an adult belt where one is available.

Offence
Section 14(3) Road Traffic Act 1988 - level 2 fine - fixed penalty offence - summary offence

It is an offence for a person to drive or ride in a motor vehicle in contravention of the Motor Vehicle (Wearing Seat Belts) Regulations 1993.

No person other than the person actually committing the contravention is guilty of an offence.
Where the person is under the age of 14 years - see summary below.

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Exemptions from wearing a seatbelt
Regulation 6 Motor Vehicles (Wearing Seat Belts) Regulations 1993
The following persons are exempt from the requirement to wear an adult seat belt:

[Motor Vehicles (Wearing of Seat Belts) (Amendment) Regulations 2005 - 01/03/2005]

Summary
The under mentioned exceptions and exemptions apply in all cases;

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