France - Seat Belts

John Rowe

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Swift Sundance 590RS
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Hi all. Due to travel to France in May. We have 2 cab seat belts which will be occupied by 2 adults & 2 rear forward facing belts which will be occupied by baby seats. The plan is for there to be 2 further adults in the rear either sitting sideways or rear facing without belts, is this legal?
 

sdc77

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My undestanding s that it is legal in france as seat belts in the rear only need to be worn if fitted.
Not sure how your insurance company would see it though.
 

Jimbohorlicks

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I would worry about the safety of the 2 adults without belts. if you had a 3rd party bash you or you had to do an emergency stop they could be seriously injured or injure someone else. Whilst we all think we are good drivers and don't cause accidents -there are others on the road that do.If someone was injured without belts and sued you the insurance company wouldn't want to know -you would be on your own.
 

Badknee

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You are between a rock and a hard place on this one. How old is your MoHo? I believe there may be a cut off point in the rules but if it was me I wouldn't do it.
How are you going to secure the child seats in?
If you feel you have to secure the children why not the adults?
If you stop immediately (accident) your passengers will suddenly weigh several tonnes and hit you and your front seat passenger from behind while you are strapped in to your seat.
Sorry, not worth taking a chance. Personally it frightens the hell out of me thinking what could go wrong.:(
 

Minxy Girl

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Hi all. Due to travel to France in May. We have 2 cab seat belts which will be occupied by 2 adults & 2 rear forward facing belts which will be occupied by baby seats. The plan is for there to be 2 further adults in the rear either sitting sideways or rear facing without belts, is this legal?
First call would be to your insurance company to see the number of 'passenger carrying' seats you are covered for - if you have 4 seat belts that would be 1 driver + 3 passengers - so you could find that you won't have insurance.

If there is no issue with insurance then you have to decide whether it is sensible - personally I would NOT do it for 2 reasons:
  • you cannot safely secure 2 of the passengers who could be badly injured themselves or injure others as they 'fly' around the MH in an accident.
  • securing child seats in the rear of a MH is not that easy either as they can 'tip' sideways into the aisle so it is advisable to fit a child seat to the window side only unless you can find a way to secure the aisle one to prevent tipping.
There's an article here on Fun which makes interesting reading:

http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/portal/motorhome-seat-belts/
 

DBK

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I suspect even the rear facing seats would not be safe in a serious head-on collision. What are the seat backs supported by? If it's something like a wardrobe then forget it. :)
 

icantremember

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If you still have the Swift Sundance 590RS as mentioned in your profile ......

I don't know your vehicle age or modifications but as far as I'm aware you probably have a MTPLM of 3500kg, therefore I would be very surprised, if carrying 4 adults and two children together with all the necessary luggage, you would not be seriously overloaded which is both illegal and dangerous.

I'm sorry to put a downer on what should be exciting plans but in my view safety of all on board would be my major concern and certainly would not entertain using un-belted seats for traveling.

PS. Copied from a Swift Spec sheet -
Sleeps5 = Travel seats4 - MTPLM3500kg -Payload485kg
 

WillH

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As someone who feels uncomfortable sitting on a bus without a seat-belt I would never consider carrying anyone in a vehicle without being secured by a belt.
 

tonyidle

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You are between a rock and a hard place on this one. How old is your MoHo? I believe there may be a cut off point in the rules but if it was me I wouldn't do it.
How are you going to secure the child seats in?
If you feel you have to secure the children why not the adults?
If you stop immediately (accident) your passengers will suddenly weigh several tonnes and hit you and your front seat passenger from behind while you are strapped in to your seat.
Sorry, not worth taking a chance. Personally it frightens the hell out of me thinking what could go wrong.:(
I can't disagree but MHers seem to want every safety facility possible inside the van - then they'll go sight-seeing on a scooter :eek:. I've driven everything I can get my hands on over the years and still ride motorcycles (and drive a Reliant three-wheeler). My a-class MH seems very safe after those. It's hard to justify saying that safety can be over-egged - but I believe it can.
 

Gorse Hill

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I can't disagree but MHers seem to want every safety facility possible inside the van - then they'll go sight-seeing on a scooter :eek:.
And some people only do it a few times a year especially if they don't drive them at home, making them even more dangerous
 

Scattycat

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I understand folks concern about the dangers of "some" passengers in the rear of the van not wearing seat belts, "but" many of us on this forum were driving before 1986, when seat belt laws came into force and we all drove around without this paranoia. Much the same with speed limits, they were only introduced during, what is referred to as "the fuel crisiss" and was supposed to reduce folks fuel comsumpsion, NOT as a safety issue.
I find it interesting how we are all being brain washed.

I now sit back and wait for the back lash. Lol
 

Badknee

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I understand folks concern about the dangers of "some" passengers in the rear of the van not wearing seat belts, "but" many of us on this forum were driving before 1986, when seat belt laws came into force and we all drove around without this paranoia. Much the same with speed limits, they were only introduced during, what is referred to as "the fuel crisiss" and was supposed to reduce folks fuel comsumpsion, NOT as a safety issue.
I find it interesting how we are all being brain washed.

I now sit back and wait for the back lash. Lol
Yes your right we did, but many things have changed since then. More traffic/ more idiots, higher speeds, education on safety aspects of driving etc. etc. the OP explained what they were thinking of doing, I gave the answer as 'not sure' and gave my thoughts on the subject that's all. The OP is entitled to his decision but must have some doubt in his mind to ask the question in the first place. :)
 

castor

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The question being "am I legal" I live in france and if you were unfortunate to be stopped or in an accident ,,I believe you will be unable to prove that you can carry passengers without belts , regarding accident then your insurance company will have a hard time swallowing your explanation , leaving you without insurance . As to whether you think this is safe ,,thats your call. Nobody travels in my vehicles without a belt on. The weight element has been covered.
Enjoy your holls but suggest a second car .
 

Scattycat

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I'm not sure about the UK, but here in France the catre gris (log book) will state how many people you can carry and how many the van will sleep. For example, the Rapido that we have can sleep 3 but can carry and has seat belts for 4.
On a previous van, circa 2004, it had beds for 4 but could carry 5, but there were only seat belts for the driver and front passenger.
If we are found to be carrying more people than the care grise states we will be liable for a fine.
I don't know if this answers your question
 
OP
John Rowe

John Rowe

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Hi all, Many thanks for all your responses. Back to the drawing board I think. So glad I consulted the forum before making any hard formed plans. Once again many thanks.
 

Baldeagle7470

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As scattycat rightly says,the two French campers I have owned both mark on the carte Gris how many belted seats are available.
As others have said these days some laws are not logical or over protective.
However I think an overzealous young Gendarme who has just got his new uniform and finds 6 people in a four seat belted van would at least delay you for a long time whist arguing the point and try a fine as well.
Not had the above specific experience but had a long chat! at a French controle about the validity of my UK licence as a French resident.
The young man didn't like the fact I had a French Legifrance document that his sergeant proved I was right.
Just too much hassle these days.
 

tonyidle

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I understand folks concern about the dangers of "some" passengers in the rear of the van not wearing seat belts, "but" many of us on this forum were driving before 1986, when seat belt laws came into force and we all drove around without this paranoia. Much the same with speed limits, they were only introduced during, what is referred to as "the fuel crisiss" and was supposed to reduce folks fuel comsumpsion, NOT as a safety issue.
I find it interesting how we are all being brain washed.

I now sit back and wait for the back lash. Lol
Speed limits were around long before the fuel crisis (in the '70s). During that period the motorway limit was reduced from 70mph to 50mph then reset to 70mph once the crisis was perceived to be over.
 

Scattycat

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S
Speed limits were around long before the fuel crisis (in the '70s). During that period the motorway limit was reduced from 70mph to 50mph then reset to 70mph once the crisis was perceived to be over.
Sorry, yes there have always been speed limits, but what I probably was thinking was the maximum speed limit was introduced.
Unless I'm mistaken, more than likely, there was no speed limit on most motorways and unrestricted roads in the UK. The white circle with a black diagonal line through it signaled the end of the previously posted speed limit. It was commonly regarded, even by the police, as a GLF sign,
(go like f**k), providing it was safe to do so.
P.S. Sorry to go off topic
 
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