Classic car owners issued warning over seatbelt laws or risk fines
Rishi Sunak appears to ride in car without wearing a seatbelt
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In most circumstances, every passenger and driver in a vehicle is required by law to wear their seatbelt, no matter how short the journey is. If anyone is caught not wearing a seatbelt when they are supposed to, they could be fined up to £500.
But there are certain situations which do not legally require drivers or passengers to wear a seatbelt, although it is always strongly advised.
Owners of classic cars which do not have a seatbelt installed are not legally required to get one fitted and drivers are therefore exempt from wearing one.
Until 1966, cars were often made without seatbelts, with many manufacturers offering them as added extras.
Classic car owners should be cautious, however. Any children under three years old will not be able to travel in the vehicle.
Children over the age of three are only allowed to sit in the back seats. It will also be at the discretion of the driver as to whether they let any young people in the car.
Greg Wilson, Founder and CEO of Quotezone.co.uk said: “Since the seatbelt law was first introduced over 40 years ago it has saved thousands of lives and made the UK roads much safer for everyone.
“We urge everyone to wear a seatbelt in all situations, even if they are legally exempt, for their own safety and to avoid a hefty fine of up to £500.
“It’s important to make sure you do know the laws surrounding seatbelts to stay within the law and avoid any unsafe trips for yourself and your passengers.
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“One of the things most people are unaware of is that the driver is only responsible for children who are under 14 to wear their seatbelt, anyone older than 14 is accountable for themselves.
“Owners of classic cars which were made pre-1965 do not need to install or wear a seatbelt as the vehicle was originally manufactured without one.”
The seatbelt law was first introduced in 1983, with many road safety organisations celebrating the 40-year anniversary earlier this month.
This made it mandatory for seatbelts to be worn in vehicles that had them fitted, with it now being one of the most crucial parts of motoring.
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To mark the anniversary, the RAC conducted research into seatbelts, finding that more than two-thirds of people believe drivers should be responsible for ensuring all passengers are wearing them.
Currently, drivers only have a responsibility to make sure they and any children in their vehicles are buckled up properly – with the latter potentially needing to be in a child car seat or booster seat depending on their age or height.
A clear majority of these (69 percent) think that those who break the law should pay both a fine and receive at least three points on their licences.
This is something that may come to pass as the Government stated last autumn it is considering the merits of introducing penalty points for those driving without seatbelts.
Four percent of drivers – the equivalent of around 1.7 million full driving licence holders in Great Britain – admit to driving without a seatbelt over the last 12 months, with around a fifth of these saying they don’t belt up at least half the time.
This comes after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was filmed not wearing a seatbelt in Lancashire, with the police issuing a fine. Number 10 said Mr Sunak “fully accepts this was a mistake and has apologised”.
A recent YouGov poll found that drivers were overwhelmingly in favour of harsher penalties for drivers caught without wearing a seatbelt.
New measures could see UK drivers caught not wearing a seatbelt penalised with penalty points instead of the usual £500 fine.
The poll revealed that 81 percent of Britons surveyed backed the idea, with 52 percent strongly supporting it.
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