Today, I am going clear up the mysteries surrounding the offences of failing to wear a seatbelt. It’s the Road Traffic Act 1988 that specifies the offences of failing to wear a seatbelt.
Clearly, the driver, him or herself, failing to wear a seatbelt whilst driving commits an offence. But many of you will know that 14 years old is a significant age, but without really knowing why.
This is because anybody 14 years or older is responsible for wearing their own seatbelt, and if they fall to wear it, they are committing an offence. It is not the driver in that scenario that commits the offence.
Anybody under 14 years old, however, is the responsibility of the driver and the driver commits a separate offence for failing to ensure that someone under 14 years old, front or back seat, is wearing an adequate seatbelt.
This is all assuming that there are adult belts fitted in the car, as some very old vehicles simply don’t have them.
As to the penalty for failing to wear a seatbelt, it is on a level two fine which is up to £500. But remember, in a significantly serious case, let’s say several children under the age of 14 not wearing their seatbelt, the court might take quite a dim view of this and imposes a more significant penalty.
But they must provide reasons for doing so. As for very young children under three years old, there are separate requirements, for example, airbags must be disabled. But more on this in another video.