- a driver who is reversing, or supervising a learner driver who is reversing
- someone in a vehicle being used for police, fire and rescue services
- a passenger in a trade vehicle and you're investigating a fault
- driving a goods vehicle on deliveries that are travelling no more than 50 meters between stops
- a licensed taxi driver who is 'plying for hire' or carrying passengers
Confusing Motorhome Seat Belt Regulations
Regulations formulated in the late 80’s only concerned front seat passengers and not the seats in the habitation part of a motorhome. If your motorhome was built right up to as recent as 2007 there was no legal requirement to have seat-belts fitted in any area outside the cab no matter whether they are forward or side facing. Of course, some manufacturers did add forward facing seat-belts in the back and its always been the case that if fitted they must be worn. There was talk of a law change due to happen in 2009 to make it illegal to carry persons un-belted but this did not materialise.
This confusion leads to a common question on our forum; I don’t have any seat belts in the back but can I still carry passengers back there. The simple answer is the law says if there are no belts, or those seats that have belts are already occupied then it’s OK not to wear them, where they are not fitted. But a realistic answer is; it depends.
- It depends if you are transporting children of a particular size, weight or age. This might mean, in the absence of any belts in the back a child in a car seat must use the front passenger belted seat, while an adult passenger travels in the back. However, the law is clear with very young children. Children under 3 must be in a belted seat.
- It also depends on whether you want to risk the lives of everyone, belted or not. Un-belted passenger can be thrown forward and kill belted passengers that might have survived.
- It depends upon whether you want your insurance to be valid. It is very unlikely that your insurance company will let you travel with passengers in the back unless they are in forward-facing seats and have a 3-point seat belt.
- It depends whether you want to risk prosecution because while the law allows occupation in un-belted seats, there is room for to prosecute drivers if people in the rear are considered to be carried in an unsafe manner. For example, some motorhomes have 9 seats in the rear with only two of them with belts. If someone filled all those seats with children and something terrible happened the police might prosecute the driver for being so reckless.
- It depends if the Police of insurance company agree with you that a seat is a designated travel seat or should only be used when a vehicle is stationary.
Walk away from motorhomes without enough seat belts.
A little while ago I saw a really nice old van that I would have loved to have owned. It was a 1999 Tabbert, The build quality on this little A class motorhome was superb, it was a very low mileage model and at a good price too. But, we still have one child that travels with us and this van no seat belts in the back. So reluctantly we walked away. Which is what I urge you to do if your dream van does not have enough forward or rear facing three-point belts for all those that will be travelling.
You can read the Government Seat Belt Legislation here. An interesting article here from RoSPA on how seat belts eventually became law