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While it may seem obvious that passengers should be wearing their seatbelts when travelling in a vehicle, there are a few instances where they don’t need to be wearing one. Sadly for the Prime Minister, he appears to have no excuse whatsoever for not wearing his, according to Graham Conway, the managing director at Select Car Leasing.
The most important thing to point out is that you can still face prosecution for not wearing your seatbelt even if your car is stationary.
There was a case in East Suffolk involving a motorist who was fined after removing his seatbelt in a bid to get more comfortable while traffic had stopped to allow a bridge to lift up and down.
The driver’s engine wasn’t running at the time and his handbrake was applied.
But in the eyes of the law, the seatbelt is there for protection against suffering whiplash injuries should the vehicle be hit from behind.
Mr Conway advised that a seatbelt should be worn whenever you’re in a car that’s on the highway – in either moving traffic or not. He added that fines for not wearing a seatbelt can be steep.
Currently, those over the age of 14 who are caught not wearing their seatbelts while driving or as a passenger can receive an immediate fine of £100.
However, this fine could be as much as £500 if they are taken to court.
The Government is also considering whether penalty points should be given to motorists who fail to wear their seatbelts.
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However, there are certain situations where seatbelt laws may not apply to a driver or passenger.
One such situation is when a driver is reversing or if someone is supervising a learner driver who is reversing.
Additionally, people travelling in vehicles being used for police, fire and rescue services are not required to wear seatbelts.
Another exception is for passengers in a trade vehicle who are investigating a fault.
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Drivers who are making deliveries in a goods vehicle and travelling no more than 50 metres between stops are also not required to wear seatbelts.
Licensed taxi drivers who are ‘plying for hire’ or carrying passengers may be exempt from these laws too.
Drivers can apply for exemptions in certain circumstances. For example, drivers who cannot wear a seatbelt for medical reasons are required to obtain a certificate of exemption from their doctors.
Drivers who have this certificate are required to keep it in their vehicle and show it to the police if stopped.
Interestingly, it’s not only people that have to wear a seatbelt in a car.
Motorists who are travelling with their pets are required to make sure that they have a seat belt harness or pet carrier so the pets cannot distract the driver while driving or injure passengers or themselves if the car stops suddenly.
Motorists who fail to restrain their pets while driving could also face a £100 fine.
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