United Kingdom Seat Belt Safety Laws

Most laws for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians are aimed at the protection of safety and wellbeing of others on UK roads, the UK seatbelt safety law is one of the few that is specifically targeted at the user rather than a third parties’ safety. 

The law was first passed in 1968 and was heavily backed by a campaign which was “Clunk Click on Every Trip”, then changed to “Clunk Click on even the shortest trip.” Through the years there have been many more campaigns to raise awareness of the importance of using a seatbelt. Today there is a major focus on targeting younger drivers and passengers where statistics show that four young adults each week are either seriously or fatally injured in car accidents on the UK roads as a direct result of not wearing a seatbelt. 

There are however some exceptions to wearing a seatbelt, some are medical and the passenger or driver must have a valid doctor’s certificate to say so. Other exceptions are as follows; 

  • Delivery Drivers/Couriers: Those such as postal workers or delivery drivers who are frequently stopping and getting out to deliver post or packages may be exempt whilst actively working. This really only applies when travelling less than a distance of fifty metres between deliveries / pickups.  
  • Supervising a Learner: Driving instructors or those who are supervising a learner driver may be exempt from wearing a seatbelt whilst the learner is performing a reverse manoeuvre.  
  • Emergency Services: These include individuals operating emergency vehicles such as the police, ambulances and the fire brigade, but is only applicable when actively in the execution of their duties. 
  • Goods Vehicle Occupants: In certain circumstances the seatbelt law is exempt.
  • Licenced Taxi Drivers: Are exempt when carrying passengers or plying for trade, although most drivers will wear theirs as a matter of road safety. 
  • Other Exceptions: Some vehicles manufactured before 1967 are exempt from the law, specifically if they were not fitted with seatbelts and have no means to do so. 

As the law has evolved through the years, with seatbelts being required to be worn on minibuses and coaches, it’s important to remember that the UK seatbelt safety law is to protect everyone and to make our UK roads a safer place to travel. 

Getting In Touch

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