The Importance Of Wearing A Seat Belt While Driving
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Since January 1983, it has been a legal obligation for all drivers to wear a seat belt, and if you refuse to wear one, you can legally get into trouble, not to mention the risks you take for your safety. Since 1965, manufacturers have had to install seat belts in vehicles, but it took another 18 years for this to become a driving law.
Since the introduction of the seat belt law, it has dramatically reduced the number of road deaths because previously, more than 50% of deaths were because they were driving unrestrainedly or were hit by an uninhibited passenger. It's scary to think that an object not fastened with a seat belt, a person, or even a dog can lead to the death of passengers and drivers due to the speed and impact of an accident.
Exceptions to the seat belt
Some legal exceptions to wearing a seat belt allow you to unfasten the seat belt when reversing a vehicle or supervise an apprentice driver when reversing. Suppose you are a delivery person who sits less than 50 meters between departures, a taxi, or a private driver on a business trip. You are also exempt if you investigate a fault on a commercial vehicle as a passenger. These are the only exceptions allowed unless there is a medical exemption certificate or the vehicle you drive does not have seat belts.
There are many reasons why you may be medically exempted from wearing a seat belt, but this must be accompanied by a certificate of exemption from the obligation to wear a seat belt issued by your GP. This form must be kept in the car at all times to show it to the police, and you must also notify your insurance company. If you have recently had breast or abdominal surgery, your doctor will likely be able to issue a temporary exemption certificate while you are still healing. Each exemption certificate is issued based on the individual needs of the driver, and pregnancy is not necessarily a reason for obtaining an exemption certificate.
If registered as an invalid, you cannot be automatically released from the seat belt as a passenger or driver in a car unless there is a valid reason. Many disabled drivers use gadgets such as drop links, which shift the diagonal position of the belt. These are great if the person is of limited height, and a conventional belt would cross the rider's neck. 'Pulla straps are beneficial when stretching to pull a seat belt is difficult, and the' Klunk Klip strap is designed to put less pressure on the waist and is used for those with lower abdominal problems or when using a colostomy pouch. Your family doctor will advise you about this before offering a medical exemption, as he will have to weigh all the pros and cons if you are not allowed to travel with a seat belt. An accident without a seat belt can significantly outweigh the reasons for exemption.
Child occupants and seat belts
Children under 12 years of age or with a minimum height of 1.3 m should always use a booster seat and seat belt as soon as they have grown out of the size and weight-dependent baby and toddler seats. As soon as you are over 12 years old or taller than 1.3 m, you can travel as a passenger with belts attached.
Children under 15 months must be secured in a rear-facing car seat equipped with ISOFIX points or designed for use with diagonal belts. If the seat in the front passenger seat is to be used, the airbag must be deactivated.
Attaching a child seat to a side-facing seat in a larger vehicle is not lawfully permitted.
There are some exceptions for a child who is not wearing a seat belt or in a car seat, whether in a taxi, a minibus, a bus without belts, or an emergency. Any attempt to secure the child must be made, and from the age of 3, you can use the attached seat belts to some extent. Children under 3 years old cannot be transported without a car seat, except in a minicab or the back seat, but these are intended only for emergency cases.
Disabled children can receive an exemption certificate from the family doctor, but they can use seat belts or child restraint systems tailored to their needs.
Vehicles without seat belts
You can legally drive if you own a classic car initially built without seat belts. Still, you are not allowed to transport children under 3 years old, and then you can only travel in the back seat, so if you have a small 2-seater classic car, you should not carry a child.
Seat belts and the law
A fine of up to £500 will be imposed if you are caught without a seatbelt for no good reason, and the same penalties will be imposed if you are caught with a child under 14, not in the correct car seat, or clamped while driving.
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