Seat belts

The facts

  • In a crash, you’re twice as likely to die if you don’t wear a seat belt.
  • Drivers and passengers aged 17-34 have the lowest seat belt-wearing rates, combined with the highest accident rate.
  • People are less likely to use seat belts on short or familiar journeys – putting them at serious risk of injury in a crash.

The law

  • Drivers and passengers who fail to wear seat belts in the front and back of vehicles are breaking the law.
  • For those aged 14 and over, failure to wear a seat belt could result in an on-the-spot fine of £100. If prosecuted, the maximum fine is £500.
  • As a passenger in taxis and private hire vehicles, you are required by law to wear seat belt where one is provided.
  • The safest way for children to travel in cars is in an appropriate car seat. If the correct child car seat is not available, children can ride in taxis and private hire vehicles, but only on a rear seat. Children under three can sit in the back without a seat belt, while those three and older must wear one.
  • In minibuses, buses, and coaches, passengers aged 14 years and over must use a seat belt if one is available and are personally responsible for doing so. Bus and coach operators must provide either signs or announcements to remind passengers that they must wear a seat belt, where one is available.

Read more

  • Download our Seat belts and Child Restraints leaflet for more information on the fitting and wearing of seat belts, child car seats and information on the fitting and wearing of child restraints.
  • Additional sources of information include: