Kids and seating/seatbelt laws

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by TJ-RV, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. TJ-RV

    TJ-RV Deleted User

    I was curious what the child seating and restraint requirements are in the UK and how they translate to children in a motorhome. Here in California the law is both clear and confusing (quite normal for California law). A child under the age of 6 has to be restrained (in a child restraint seat with its own belts/harness), but cannot be in the front of a vehicle.

    If you want to try to make sense of relevant CA law there's a synopsis here on the California DMV site (our equivalent to DVLA).

    When we took our 4-year old grandson on a 2-week trip in our class A motorhome last year, I struggled with the potentially conflicting issues of how to do this safely and within the law. Apart from the driver and front passenger seats, the only other seating is the side-facing sofa, some loose dining chairs and a loose recliner.

    The loose chairs obviously weren't going to work even if they had seatbelts (which they don't) and, although the sofa has seat belts, I didn't see them as much help in a front or rear collision, since this would be a sideways force on the child seat.

    I eventually said to heck with interpreting the law and, in the interests of safety, put the child restraint seat (CRS) in the front passenger seat of the motorhome. There is no air bag on that side, and the seat is further back from the dashboard than the driver's seat. I used the lap seatbelt to anchor the child restraint seat, and used the strap from the CRS that goes over the back of the passenger seat. This strap wasn't actually long enough, and I added a motorcycle strap (the type that's used to anchor a motorcycle in the back of a pickup truck) to provide the rear restraint.

    Class C motorhomes and some older class A's have fixed dinette seating (benches) with seatbelts. Although we don't think that these benches provide adequate restraint in an accident, they do appear to satisfy the law.
     
  2. Cricketdaddy

    Cricketdaddy Deleted User

    Tom,

    As a fellow Californian I am similarly confused, though not surprised, at our law and intent. But then, we still don't require school buses to have seatbelts, do we? Too expensive for the poor school systems which only receive slightly less than the U.S. military budget!

    When my wife and I took our five-year-old grandson on our shakedown cruise in our new MH we spent a week worried about him being strapped into a side-facing sofa, as you described, and fighting with him because he was bored and we were exhausted from trying to keep him entertained.

    Solution: LEAVE THE KID HOME WITH HIS DAD! :BigGrin:

    I'm only half-kidding.
     
  3. kands

    kands Read Only Funster

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    Hi Tom
    You don't have a monopoly on confusing laws mate :Rofl1: The last time I looked at our seatbelt laws, they seemed to suggest that people should be strapped into a suitable seatbelt whilst in the vehicle. If no suitable seatbelt was provided then they did not need to be restrained. I think the rulings on child restraints are a bit more conclusive, but not having access to young kids I have not read up on the laws (thank goodness :Laughing:)
    I could suggest that you read up on our DVLA site if your life is so boring :Rofl1: and you have a few hours to waste, otherwise I am sure that someone who knows all about it will be along shortly......
    HTH

    Keith
     
  4. ukrv

    ukrv Deleted User

    Thankfully, Fleetwood have answered the seatbelt issue in our RV.

    All the side-facing seats (and others) have seatbelts fitted.

    Above those side-facing seats, there are signs which state "not to be used when vehicle is moving".

    So, I can only assume they are to be used for strapping the little so-and-so's down when they misbehave. :Rofl1:

    Paul
     
  5. TJ-RV

    TJ-RV Deleted User

    LOL Dave. In this case, we were committed to looking after him for that time. I thought it would be a good idea to get out of Dodge rather than just be at home, so we decided to take the motorhome trip.

    Had it been our youngest grandson (less than 1 year old), we'd have had a different set of problems. Or, if it had been our oldest grandson (aged 20), there'd have been no seating problems.
     
  6. Cricketdaddy

    Cricketdaddy Deleted User

    Paul, I'm still laughing at that. :Rofl1:

    Tom, we have since come up with another solutiion. A couple of weeks ago we packed up the MH and took a 500 mile ride north where we dropped the kidling off with his other grandparents. Then we moved on for a week of peace and quiet. :RollEyes:
     
  7. TJ-RV

    TJ-RV Deleted User

    Thanks, but no thanks Keith. I'm leave that fun task to someone else.

    As for confusing stuff, I spent a big part of my career trying to interpret specs and regulations and dealing with folks who were charged with enforcing them. When some of the writers and the enforcers don't speak English or Amlish very well, it can get quite frustrating.

    In the simplest case, you should see the written part of the California driving test. Multiple choice questions. "A car is: an automobile, a bus, a vehicle, a truck", only one correct answer.

    When I complained to government agencies such as the Department of Defense (Defence) about incompetent employees, I'd be told "s/he's a minority, so I can't fire them". When we were successful as an industry association in pushing for reform, one government agency reported "we've upgraded all those positions". What they actually did was promote the incompetents and gave them pay raises at taxpayers' expense.

    Sorry, another one of my favourite subjects (aka pet peeves).
     
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