Rear Seat belts

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by olley, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. olley

    olley Funster

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    Hi sorry to Zaskar for taking his tread off topic, so I thought I had better start a new one.

    As I understand the new law thats coming out in May this year the amount of seat belts you have in the rear, regulates the amount of passengers you can carry, one belt one passenger, six belts six passengers. No belts ever fitted and the law doesn't apply, carry as many as you like.

    As I only have one lap belt on the dinette, and greater brains than me have said that the belts on the sideways facing sofa should not be used, the accepted wisdom seems to be that they do more damage to you than not having a belt on at all.

    So if I wish to take daughter and grandson away with us I need another belt at least, and if I am going to mess about fitting another I might as well upgrade to L&D for both.

    I envisage bolting an upright steel post to the floor, (maybe 3"x2" box) inside the sink base, the sink base forms the back of the forward facing dinette seats. Just under the worktop I will cut a hole through the back exposing the end of the post and bolt a short horizontal piece before turning vertical again to get the height needed for the belts, looked at from the side the steel post will look like a "dog leg" When I say bolt, some of this will of course be welded.

    Obviously the post will need to be braced but their's room under the sink base to do this, Winnebago bolt the single lap belt to the floor of the slide (the dinette is in the slide) so I see no reason why I can't do the same, suitably reinforced of course.

    I can guide the belts back into the sink base and down to the inertia reels mounted on the floor. Sounds easy :Rofl1:

    Is their a flaw in this plan?? comments please.

    Olley
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2009
  2. moandick

    moandick Read Only Funster

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    Hi Olley - I may get this a bit wrong and you would obviously need to check fairly carefully - BUT I think from what I have overheard from other sources that you will only be allowed to fit seat belts to forward facing seats - not backward facing seats unless there is some kind of headrest/neck protection available.

    In an ordinary RV dinette - the rear seat which faces forward - has the dinette bulkhead as neck protection - whereas the forward seat which faces backwards does not usually have any head/neck protection at all.
     
  3. olley

    olley Funster

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    Hi Dick the dinette seats I am thinking of fitting belts to are the forward facing ones.

    Olley
     
  4. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Hi Olley

    Our's originally had 8 belts .. driver and front passenger, two on the sofa, two on tub seats and two on the forward facing dinette seats..
    I've since removed the pair on the tub seats and the two on the sofa for safety reasons.. plus it saved arguments, when Paul was with us, he used to sleep on the sofa while on the move and tie the two belts around his body, :RollEyes:
    but why they ever thought eight could sleep in a six berth I've no idea.. :Laughing:

    Point I was getting to, the pair on the dinette are lap belts and anchored only to the steel square frame of the seat..
     
  5. lugnutt

    lugnutt Funster Life Member

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    hi my rv one a lap belt for two people facing to the rear in the dinette with no head restraints and a lap belt for the bucket seat, that is all were ever fitted so the question is should i take them out plus how will the NEW rules affect me?
     
  6. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi new rules only apply to new vans from 2008 -- i think :BigGrin:
    terry
     
  7. moandick

    moandick Read Only Funster

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    Hi Lugnut A bit of a rambling lecture from me - BUT NOT aimed at you, although some of it will provide a couple of answers to the questions you posed.

    From what I can gather - you will simply NOT be allowed to travel with people sitting in those rearwards facing seats or in the bucket seat.

    Technology is improving all the time with in-vehicle safety and people are just beginning to realise how much damage is caused to the head and neck in an 'un-supported' position in the event of an accident - I don't know why it has taken so long - in unarmed combat, breaking your opponents neck is a very easy thing to do - same as in a game of Rugby, I suppose.

    Common sense now prevails and says that people DO have accidents in motorhomes - they DO have head-on accidents in motorhomes - and if somebody is sitting facing backwards then they are probably not aware of an impending accident and can therefore be damaged quite badly with neck trauma.

    Sitting sideways in some respects may not be so bad to the individual BUT just think laterally for a while - in a fight between 'yobs' on TV what is a most effective deterrent - a head-butt. If you are sitting sideways next to another passenger in a head-on collision - either you are going to head-butt them - or vice-versa. Whichever way it is both of you are liable to get hurt very badly!
     
  8. olley

    olley Funster

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    Hi Terry as far as I am aware, and discussing this on other forums, it applies to all vans. All its doing is stating that if you sit in the back you must wear a seat belt, unless no seat belts where ever fitted to any seat.

    I believe the law your referring to, states that however many berths you state the motorhome has, you must have a corresponding amount of seat belts. ie. if you class a motorhome as a six berth it must have six seat belts. And that I think came in 08 on new vehicles only

    Olley
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2009
  9. carol ilfracombe

    carol ilfracombe Read Only Funster

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    hi members. We enquired of one of the major Motorhome Mags about this subject when we bought our Ford Herald Templar 95 in Feb. It only had 2 bench seats facing inwards in the rear.We were told no garage would fit belts to side facing seats, a big no,no. We were also told ny child under 12 had to have a belt with baby seat or height adjuster that is the law already. In 2009 they told us you can only carry passengers inthe back in the belts you had if you had any. We have hada crpenter change one side of the van to a dinnette layout, 2 seats facing forward and 2 back as in the sister version of our van The Aragorn.My son then fitted 2 lap belts to the forward facing seats bolting them to metal strips bolted and welded to the floor and we now have 2 on the rear facing seats simularlary fitted. No-one said anything about head restraits for either. Now we can belt up 6 with he 2 in front.Hope you resolve the problem. Carol:Smile:
     
  10. moandick

    moandick Read Only Funster

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    Seatbelts and the law (Courtesy of UK Motorhomes.net)

    (last updated June 2008)

    We asked the Department for Transport for their interpretation on the law as it applies to seatbelts fitted in motorhomes, this article gives the essence of the information that they gave us:

    The information below relates to the fitting of seatbelts and the wearing of seatbelts by adults. There is specific legislation, introduced in 2006, concerning the carrying of children in vehicles. Rather than trying to present all the somewhat complicated regulations here, please see: Think!

    For vehicles built up to October 2007 there was no legal requirement to have seat belts fitted to side-facing seats or seats that make up the accommodation area in motor caravans.

    Regulation 46 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, as amended, states motor caravans first used on or after 1st April 1982 but before 1 October 1988 shall be equipped with anchorage points for the driver's seat and specified passenger seat (if any); and for motor caravans first used on or after 1st October 1988 shall be equipped with anchorage points for the driver's seat and any forward-facing front seat.

    You can download a copy of the SI at Statutory Instrument 2001 No. 1043.

    However, this did not preclude manufacturers fitting seat belts to forward facing or rearward facing seats within the accommodation area if they wished to do so.

    Where seat belts are fitted they must be worn.

    Seats in the rear of a campervan/motorhome did not, prior to October 2007, require seatbelts (whether forward, rearward or sideways facing) and it is not illegal to carry unrestrained passengers in them while travelling, providing the vehicle is not overloaded. It is not something we would recommend, however.

    Although current seat belt wearing regulations do not currently prohibit carrying more passengers in vehicles than there are seat belts available, the police may prosecute drivers for carrying passengers in a manner that may injure someone.

    We would advise that no-one should be carried in any unbelted seat in the rear of a motorhome.

    An EU Directive (2005/40/EC) on the installation of seat belts required that from 20 October 2007 new vehicles have to have seat belts fitted on all seats except those seats intended solely for use when the vehicle is stationary.
    Where seat belts are fitted, from May 2009, the seat belt wearing Directive will prevent more passengers being carried than there are seat belts in the rear of vehicles. This will mean that from May 2009, in any vehicle of whatever age, where seat belts are fitted in the rear, more passengers may not be carried in the rear than there are seat belts available.

    The critical point for owners of older motorhomes is that it will not become illegal to carry passengers in the rear, provided that no seatbelts are fitted to any seats behind the driver and front passenger seats. Owners of any motorhome that has belts fitted to any seat in the rear will need to be aware that, from May 2009, it will be illegal to carry passengers in any unbelted seats.

    The advisability of carrying unrestrained passengers is another matter, to quote the DfT spokesman:
    '... the police can already act where people in the rear of any vehicle are considered to be carried in a dangerous manner because they are unrestrained. [Owners] should beware of unbelted passengers. In a crash, they can injure others in the vehicle ...'.
    In addition to considering the legal and safety issues involved, owners who intend to carry passengers in unbelted seats must check with their insurers to confirm that this is acceptable to them.

    Our advice is that, regardless of the letter of the law, all passengers should wear seat belts.

    We are indebted to Rohan Pohl and Tom Norman from the Department for Transport for their time and patience in answering all our questions on this subject.
     
  11. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi I also did a lot of research ,:thumb: it is only the dates that I have forgotten :Rofl1: It basically said that if no seatbelts where fitted in your van you did not need them -this means forward / rearward and side facing prior to 2007 which then the law changed to give warning to manufactures that come 2008 they had to be fitted on all forward facing travel seats so they had to comply at 2007.Obviously the diver and passenger needed seatbelts a long time ago and then it change to any forward facing seats and the rear facing did not need them,nor did side facing upon which no 3 point belts were allowed only lap belts
    If your van was made before the 2007 date it does not effect it
    They deemed it unsafe to be reto fitting seat belts as people would not have proper fixing points etc etc
    That does not mean you cannot fit them just means you need to know what you are doing.:thumb::BigGrin: COMMON SENCE MUST PREVAIL :thumb:
    terry
     
  12. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    :Rofl1: WISH I had seen moandick bit before I started it would have saved me a lot of typing :Rofl1::Rofl1::thumb:
     
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