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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Seat Belt Law

At the time of writing...

... European legislation dictates that, in all Motor Caravans built after September 2001, either a fully retractable three point restraint of some description or a lap belt must be fitted to each forward and rear facing seat - but not side-facing seats as depicted here in a Holdsworth conversion.

This legislation applies to all minibuses with up to nine seats from 1996, which brought EU rules in line with existing UK law.

However, from September 2001 all minibuses with over nine forward facing seats do require fully retractable seat belts on each seat.

Despite all this, all self-built motor caravan conversions are not required to have seat belts fitted in the rear quarters if those seats are only in use when the vehicle is stationary.

Day Vans are not Motor Caravans and as such are bound by the same rules as cars (including Caravelles, Multivans and Window Vans) if they carry passengers - all passenger carrying vehicles with up to 8 passenger seats first used on or after March 1987, including those converted from light goods vehicles, are required to have seat belts fitted on all forward facing seats. However, for MOT purposes only, Day Vans with fold-down bed seats fitted are deemed to be motor caravans, even if they fall short on the other motor caravan prerequisites.


... current EU law does dictate that all child passengers up to 3 years old must be restrained with a suitable child seat which must be attached to the vehicle.

This is the only motor vehicle legislation that has ever been introduced retrospectively, i.e it applies to all vehicles old and new - therefore, if there are no restraining mechanisms present to secure the child seat, a child under 3 years old cannot travel in that vehicle.
  • If seat belts are present in a vehicle then it is the driver's responsibility to ensure that all occupants are restrained. Since 18th September 2006 children between 3 and 12 (or 135cms in height) must have the aid of a booster seat. (Prior to this booster seats were not compulsory and the age limit was 11 or 150cms height.)
  • But, if seat belts are not present children (from 3 years old) and adults do not have to be restrained at all. (I've only included this point just to "clarify" the UK law!!!)
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