Buckle up or pay up
In the UK, it is illegal to drive or travel in a car without a properly fastened seatbelt. As the driver of a car, you are legally responsible for making sure that any passenger under 14 years old is using an appropriate child restraint or an adult seatbelt. The police can impose a £30 fixed penalty to drivers spotted breaking the law and the maximum fine is £500 if it goes to court.
Fit the belt correctly
Seat belts are designed for use by one person and must never be put around a child and an adult. Buckling two people into one seat belt - even two children - could injure both of them in a crash. You should also never carry a child in your lap in a car or allow a child to ride unrestrained. A child who isn’t buckled up could hurt himself or someone else.
You can find out more about seat belts including UK legislation, exceptions to seatbelt use and the penalties for not using a seatbelt in our Seat Belt Guide.
Car Windows and Doors
Activate the child safety locks
Activate the child safety locks on your car doors to prevent children from opening the doors while the car is moving or standing still. These locks are usually found on the inside of the car doors and are operated by flicking a switch. If you are unsure where the child safety lock feature is on your vehicle, check your car’s manual.
Lock the power windows
It is also important to ensure you lock the power windows to prevent your children from getting injured or trapped. Most modern vehicles now come with electric windows (also known as automatic or power windows) which can be extremely dangerous for young children. Since 1990 over 50 children have been killed by power windows, most of them aged three or younger. Occasionally, children can unintentionally trigger a power window, trapping hands, fingers, arms or even their head. At the push of a button, the driver can make the car much safer for children by having complete control over power windows.