Car seat safety laws

Everybody wants to make sure their children are happy and protected, and that’s no different when travelling in a vehicle. UK Law states that children must use a car seat until they’re 12 years old or 135cm, whichever comes first. It’s the drivers responsibility to ensure all passengers in their car are safe, and there’s a fixed rate fine of £100 if you are caught, going up to £500 if it goes to court.

A recent LV= study around the awareness of car seats has revealed damning results.  3 in 5 grandparents don’t know the law.  1 in 10 grandparents never use a car seat for taking children under 12 years in their car. Most are simply unaware of the new laws.

  • 61% of grandparents who drive are not fully aware of the laws
  • The driver is responsible for a child’s safety in the car 

In case you didn’t know, here’s what the law states about the use of car seats:

What is the current car seat law?

There are actually two separate, simultaneous car seat laws that are observed in the UK.

  1. The ECE R44/03 and R44/04 regulations are based on the age and weight of your child
  2. The newer ECE R129 or ‘i-Size’ regulation applies to children aged under 15 months and takes height into consideration as well

The i-Size law, which was passed in the UK in April 2015, hasn’t replaced the ECE R44/03 and R44/04 regulations; instead, they run alongside each other.

Will my old car seat be okay?

Yes, as long as your car seat conforms to either the ECE R44/03 and R44/04 regulations or the newer i-Size law, it will be okay. Essentially, don’t worry if you have a seat from before April 2015 that you bought with the R44 laws in mind.

If you’re not sure, use the ECE R44/04 chart below to work out the right type of car seat for your child.

Car Seats

When can a child travel without a car seat?

It’s advised that car seats should always be used but a child can travel without a car seat in some circumstances. The exceptions to these rules are available on the GOV.UK website. 

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