Seatbelts, weights and lengths-the law

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by deegee, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. deegee

    deegee Read Only Funster

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    I am returning to motorhoming after some years away and would like to get updated on the current legal situation. Can someone tell me whether it is legal to carry passengers in the back of a motorhome where there are no travel seats designated by the manufacturer and no seat belts? Also, I passed my test yonks ago and am qualified to drive categories A,B,BC,C1,C1E,D1 and D1E. What is the legal limit on VAN weights or sizes I can drive? I understand that some rights to drive certain vehicle sizes/types lapse at age 70. Any details would be welcome.
     
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    after a certain build date you must have seat belts for all passengers...but i cant remember the date, quite recent though.

    before that date as long as there is a seat it can be occupied but is it worth the risk without a belt ?

    your licence allows you to drive a vehicle up to 7500kg with a train weight of 8250kg

    so, as an example, a 5 ton motorhome with a 3.25ton trailer...if your vehicles train weight allows or a 7500kg motorhome and 750kg trailer.

    once you hit 70 you either reliquish the right to drive 7500kg (C1 and C1+E removed) and revert to 3500kg (B and BC) or take a medical and, if passed, retain the right to 7500kg.
     
  3. schojac

    schojac Read Only Funster

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    The law is not too clear here as it is only compulsory to have forward facing seats with restraints. Therefore, if your motorhome, like most, has bench seating then it is permissible to carry passengers in the rear.

    However, should you be involved in an accident and cause injury then the police may well prosecute you as you are responsible for their safety of your passengers whilst driving.

    Weights; C1 will alloow you up to 7.5 tonnes (I think) I'm sure that someone will have the facts to hand.
     
  4. Oldroadies

    Oldroadies Read Only Funster

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    I know in Jersey (Channel Islands) the law has changed for rear passengers on sideways facing seats, making it illegal to carry them , and I was told that it would be illegal in England too as people could still get seriously injured in an accident without a belt even sitting sideways on.
     
  5. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    interesting replies,

    My understanding is that if Belts are fitted they must be used. However, Im sure there would be another law regarding carrying passengers in a van, you could theoretically get 10-20 people in a van without seat belts, would this be legal? after all the toilet is a seat is it not?

    After 2007 ( i think) it became standard for the motorhome industry to state the number of berths based on how many people could be seated and belted and not on how many people could be slept in the van. My van is a 7 berth but with only 4 belted seats.
     
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  6. deegee

    deegee Read Only Funster

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    Thanks everyone. I must say though that I am perplexed that in tightening up the law, we seem to be left with an unclear situation regarding whether passengers can sit sideways without a seat belt. Personally I wouldn't make a habit of doing that anyway, but it's necessary to know where you stand in the event that you need to.
     
  7. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi Deegee,To put it simple you can seat passengers in side facing seats build before 2007 :thumb: newer than this and all passengers must have belted seats :thumb:If seat belts are fitted they must be used. No 3 point belts should be used on side facing seats under any circumstance (garroting in a accident :Eek!:) but lap belts can be used,again if fitted(none fitted = none needed). Rear facing seats do not need any belts.This all changed in 2007 but manufacturers were aware of the changes for about 4 yrs before that so they all changed in plenty of time :Smile:
    terry
     
  8. deegee

    deegee Read Only Funster

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    Terry, thanks for your reply but now I'm more confused than before :Eek!:. You said that if the van is built after 2007 "all passengers must have seat belts". Clear enough.
    But then you said that lap belts can be used, if none fitted, none needed.
    So I'm buying a van with side facing seats, built 2011. No seat belts fitted on the side facing seats. It's after 2007 so "all passengers must have seat belts", but there aren't any ("none fitted-none needed") ???
     
  9. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    NOPE anything built after 2007 needs belts full stop :thumb:-- anything before does not on side facing or rear facing--- if the van was built without belts then none needed,a bit like old cars if made without you don't need them
    On all newer vans 2007 onwards ALL passengers need belts :thumb: = NO BELT NO PASSENGER
    terry
     
  10. deegee

    deegee Read Only Funster

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    ok, thanks. So the next logical question..... is it possible to have extra belts fitted after purchase? The van I am thinking about is the Elddis Aspire. The 215 model can actually sleep 4 when the optional bed conversion is fitted to the front lounge. But can only seat 2.
     
  11. UKMotorhomes

    UKMotorhomes Read Only Funster

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  12. deegee

    deegee Read Only Funster

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    Ok, thanks. Just read the webpage and it seems that according to this, you may not be exactly right Terry. They say what one reply had already referred to, that it IS ok to use un-belted rear side-facing seats if no belts are available, but the police can prosecute if injury ensues. The Department for Transport had even been confused. Amazing that the issue isn't crystal clear.
     
  13. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    that too is how I understand it. You could in effect carry 10 passengers in a van including the one sat on the loo and not be breaking the law in terms of SEATBELTS......BUT...

    you certainly would be in terms of carrying and unsafe or dangerous load meaning you would still be prosecuted.

    the advice though is really quite simple, If you intend on carrying passengers, buy a van with fitted seatbelts for them.
     
  14. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    It has been discussed many times :thumb: and until the law changed (2006/7) if your van did not have belts fitted none were needed :Sad::thumb: That did not give you the right to carry 20 people in side facing seats :Rofl1: common sense required :thumb: IE 6 berth van 2 belted front seats plus 4 on side/rear seats :thumb: the other 14 had better get a mini bus :Rofl1:
    It is possible to reto fit belts but goes against all advise unless proper anchorage points can be made/used- if they fail who is going to get sued :Eeek:
    terry
     
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