The rules and regulations on how and when to use a seatbelt for taxi drivers and minicabs can be confusing. This article will mention the rules on what you can do accordingly and what taxi drivers in the UK are allowed to do.

Under British law, a licensed taxi and minicab driver, driver plying for hire cannot wear a seat belt, with only a few exceptions.

Some of the Important Reasons Are:

  1. Firstly, they are not allowed to wear seatbelts because it’s for their own safety,
  2. They cannot respond to robberies or escape from dangerous riders; wearing one will expose the riders to physical assault.
  3. Wearing a belt means a dangerous passenger can pin down the driver in their seat before attacking or robbing them.

The law also suggests that drivers must quickly get out of the cab to guide and direct the passenger and help them with their luggage. Therefore, they are not allowed to wear seatbelts while carrying a passenger.

A Few Exemptions; Who is Not Allowed to Wear a Seat Belt?

There are few exemptions from wearing a seatbelt. You are not required by law to wear a seat belt if you are:

  • A driver of a goods vehicle who is making a delivery and is travelling no more than 50 meters between stops.
  • If you are reversing or helping a learner driver who is reversing
  • A taxi driver with a valid licence who is transporting passengers or “plying for hire”

Can You Wear a Seatbelt While Pregnant?

Yes, one must wear a seatbelt if one is pregnant unless or until your doctor certifies and confirms that one cannot wear one for medical reasons. In such a case, you will need a certificate to show to the police. Though it is a massive risk to travel without wearing a seatbelt, here are some ways to wear a seatbelt safely to protect yourself and your unborn child from any accidents.

  • Place the strap diagonally, circling it around the side of your bump.
  • If the lap strap crosses your belly button, it is too high. Instead, place it as low as possible across your hips and under your growing belly.

Reasons Wearing Seatbelt is Important

  1. Secures you in a firm position
  2. Prevents ejection
  3. Distributes the impact force
  4. Helps Your Body Match Your Vehicle’s Speed
  5. Protects Your Brain and Spine from severe injuries
  6. Keeps passengers from a projection
  7. A traffic ticket is avoided

Penalty for Not Wearing a Seatbelt in the UK

If the passenger is brought before a court, the fine for failing to use a seatbelt ranges from £100 to £500 and three penalty points on your driving license.

Furthermore, if you carry a child under 14 years without proper moderation, you will be fined £500 and three penalty points. If you are 14 or older, it’s your duty to ensure you’re wearing a seat belt properly.

Lastly, if you are a passenger and not wearing a seatbelt, you will have to pay a fine of £500 and two penalty points on your driver’s license.

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