The Law Regarding Seatbelts & Child Restraints

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The Law Regarding Seatbelts & Child Restraints

Most drivers are already aware of the laws regarding seatbelts and child restraints but just a reminder from for any new drivers out there.

EU child safety protection laws are enforced all across Europe, including Ireland making it compulsory for all children to travel in the correct child seat, booster seat or booster cushion.

It is also compulsory under law, for safety belts to be worn by all vehicle occupants where safety belts are provided.

Children under 3 years of age must not travel in a car or goods vehicle (other than a taxi) unless they are restrained in the correct child seat.

Children aged 3 years or over and who are under 150cms in height and weighing less than 36 kilogrammes (i.e. generally children up to 11/12 years old) must use the correct child seat, booster seat or booster cushion when travelling in cars or goods vehicles.


Children over 3 years of age must travel in a rear seat in vehicles not fitted with safety belts.

NEVER put the same seat belt around two children.

Rearward-facing child car seats must NEVER be used in the front passenger seat of cars with an active airbag.

It is very important to learn how to fit your child seat properly. You must always fit the car seat according to the manufacturer's recommendations and always remember to check the car seat regularly.

Child car seats must be in accordance with EU or United Nations- Economic Commission for Europe (UN-ECE) standards.

It is the legal responsibility of all drivers to ensure that all their passengers aged under 17, must use the correct seat, booster seat, booster cushion or seat belt . Under the law, failure to ensure this will result in penalty points being applied to the driver's licence.

It is estimated that when a child is properly restrained in a child car seat, it can reduce injuries by 90-95% for rear-facing seats and 60% for forward-facing seats*.


Do not risk your child's life

Recent statistics from the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has shown that over twice as many children were killed on Irish roads in 2014 compared to 2013.

In a crash at just 50km/h, a child who is not wearing a seatbelt or a child who is not restrained in a proper car seat would be thrown forward with a force 30 to 60 times their body weight. In a collision, a child can be thrown about inside the vehicle, injuring themselves and possibly, seriously injuring or even killing other people inside the vehicle. They are also likely to be ejected from the car through one of the windows. These horrific statistics should be enough to make you take extremely seriously the child safety laws on car restraints. See RSA - No Child Seat - No Excuse


*Source: AA Motoring Trust

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