Car seat safety

By law, you must use a seatbelt in a vehicle if one is fitted, and children up to 135 centimetres in height must use a child restraint.

Wearing a seatbelt is vital. If you don’t wear a seatbelt, you risk serious injury or death – you are twice as likely to die in a crash without one.

The THINK! website, produced by the Department for Transport, provides excellent frequently asked questions about seatbelt safety (opens new window).

What the law says

  • You must wear a seat belt in cars and goods vehicles where one is fitted. There are very few exceptions to this.
  • In buses and coaches where seat belts are fitted, passengers aged 14 years and above must use them.

Read about the law on seat belts (opens new window), from the THINK! website.

Child car seats

Child restraints include baby seats, child seats, booster seats and booster cushions. It is important that you get the right restraint for your baby or child – it depends on the weight of the child, not their age.

The THINK! website has advice about how to get the right child restraint and top tips on using child restraints (opens new window).

What the law says

  • All children up to 135 centimetres tall, or the age of 12 (whichever comes first) in the front or rear seats in cars, vans and other goods vehicles must travel in the correct child restraint for their weight.
  • A child can use an adult seat belt when they reach 135 centimetres or their twelfth birthday (whichever comes first).

Read about the law on child car seats (opens new window), from the THINK! website.