Our vehicles all have seat belts fitted of course but I believe that there are certain circumstances when the driver does not need to wear one. Can you explain exactly what the requirements are?

Q

Our vehicles all have seat belts fitted of course but I believe that there are certain circumstances when the driver does not need to wear one. Can you explain exactly what the requirements are?

A

Goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes have been required to have seat belts fitted to the driver’s seat and all passenger seats since October 2001, though that applies only to vehicles first registered from that date and there is no requirement to retrofit to older vehicles. The Road Traffic Act 1988 requires that if a seat belt is fitted for any seat then it must be used.

The situation is slightly different with smaller goods vehicles under 3.5 tonnes as, while the fitting of seat belts in them is a longer-standing requirement (as far back as 1967 in some cases), it applies only to the driver’s seat and the passenger seat furthest away from the driver. Where additional, intermediate seats are fitted, there appears to be no requirement to fit a seat belt for them and therefore no requirement to use one.

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