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Your Responsibility For Your Passengers

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 18 Nov 2019 | comments*Discuss
Number Of Passengers Driver

As a driver, you are expected to take responsibility for your passengers; from making sure that you stick to the correct number of passengers for your car, to ensuring that all passengers are wearing seatbelts. Failing to take responsibility for your passengers can land you in hot water with the law.

Number of Passengers

It is the responsibility of the driver to ensure that the number passengers in the car does not exceed the maximum. The maximum number of passengers is determined by the number of seatbelts in the car.


As a driver, you are legally obliged to ensure that any passengers aged under fourteen in your car wear seatbelts. For children under the age of three, you need to make sure that they are adequately restrained in a child restraint (such as a booster seat, child seat, baby carrier or baby harness that carries an BS kitemark or a UN "E" mark, and is suitable for the child's weight), especially in the front seat.

Do not use a child seat that faces backwards in the front seat, if you have front airbags in your car as there is a risk of being crushed or suffocated.

Children over the age of three should also be adequately restrained in the front and back seats in a child restraint until they reach 4 foot 5 inches or turn twelve.

For children aged over twelve or above 4 foot 5 inches, adult seatbelts should be worn.

The Legal Position

It is considered an offence for a driver to allow front or rear seat passengers to travel without a seatbelt if there is one available to wear.

If you are convicted of driving without a seatbelt, you can be fined up to £500. If you accept a fixed penalty notice, you will usually be fined £60. If you don't accept this, you can be taken to court and fined £500.

If you are convicted of failing to ensure that a child is adequately restrained (in either a seatbelt or a child restraint) according to the legal guidelines, you can also be fined up to £500. You will not currently be given penalty points on your driving license for seatbelt offences.

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I know a family of 6 2 adults 4 children youngest 1yr old in a 5 seater car who do i report this too
Dude69 - 18-Nov-19 @ 5:15 PM
I have just been identified with a macular problem that my surgeon has stated I would currently just fail the driving eyesight test and until my next test in a month when he hopes I will have recovered I should not drive. My son is a learner driver about to sit his test, can I continue to sit ier the car with him to allow him to drive?
None - 20-May-19 @ 7:06 PM
Recently bought a van converted into a camper. There is a bench seat added to the back but no seat belts. There are 3 belts up front.Could we carry 4 passengers legally and have one not belted ?Assuming we are all adults ?
Beastie - 1-Sep-18 @ 7:21 AM
Filtering on a motorbike down a busy two lane road, I was hit by a car door when a passenger in the car on my right opened the car door into the middle of the road at the exact moment I was passing. This was totally unexpected and unseen. My motorbike was damaged as was the car on my left as my bike was pushed into his offside. I was shaken and received a small cut on my forehead. The passenger in question admitted responsibility at the scene, but I wonder what the insurance companies will make of it.
Geeg - 5-Oct-17 @ 9:06 PM
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