The facts

  • 10 per cent of people say they sometimes don’t wear a seat belt in the front of a car.
  • 24 per cent say they sometimes don’t wear a seat belt in the back.
  • People are less likely to wear a seat belt on short or familiar journeys or at low speed.
  • You’re much more likely to die in a crash if you aren’t wearing a belt - in the front or back.

Seat Belts: The Law

  • You must wear a seat belt if one is fitted. There are only a few exceptions such as when you’re reversing, driving a delivery vehicle less than 50 metres, or have a medical certificate of exemption.

When you do not have to wear a seat belt (, opens in new window)

  • Children must either be in a car seat, or wearing a standard seat belt, depending on their age and height.
  • Taxi drivers don’t have to wear a seat belt when carrying passengers or ‘plying for hire’, but passengers in a taxi must wear a seatbelt.

Child Seats: The Law

  • Children must sit in an approved child seat, strapped in, until they are 135cm (4 feet 5 inches) tall, or until they are 12 years old (whichever comes first).
  • But it is advisable for children to use a child seat until they are 150 cm (5 feet) tall.
  • These rules apply to the front and back seats.

Find out more

Government advice about seatbelts (Think!, opens in new window)