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What are the rules for transporting children in the car?

Feb 6, 2015

Source: central government.com

Children up to 18 years old and smaller than 1.35 meters must be transported in the front and rear of the car in an approved car child seat. Children taller than 1.35 meters must wear seat belts in the front and back of the car and may use a booster seat if necessary.

Child in the front or back of the car

Children may be transported in the front or rear of the car. This makes little difference to safety. However, it is safer to carry children (babies) facing the direction of travel for as long as possible.

Car child seat definition

A car child seat is a baby car seat, a child car seat or a booster seat. A car child seat must be approved according to European safety requirements.

Airbag and transport child

In a seat with an airbag in front of it, do not transport a child in a baby car seat placed against the direction of travel. This should be done only when the airbag is deactivated. In addition, it is wise not to put children up to 12 years old near an airbag that is deployed. If there is no other way, put the car seat as far back as possible.

Use seat belts and child seats properly

It is mandatory to use seat belts and car child seats in the manner prescribed by the manufacturer. This is also how they were tested. Tips for belt and child seat use can be found in the Safe Transportation of Children in the Car brochure.

Seat belt extender not allowed with child seat

The use of a seat belt extender with a car child seat is not allowed because there is no visibility into its quality. If the belt is too short, have another approved seat belt fitted.

Limited use separate belt guide

A seat belt guide (belt clip) ensures that the diagonal part of the seat belt runs over the shoulder and not across the neck. A seat belt guide is often part of a booster seat. Separate belt guides can also be purchased. A separate belt guide may only be used by:

  • children smaller than 1.50 meters for whom there is no booster seat because they are too heavy for it (36 kilograms or heavier);
  • adults who are less than 5 feet tall.

In all other cases, the use of a separate belt guide is prohibited. Also, a separate belt guide may only be attached to the diagonal part of the seat belt. Thus, a belt guide connecting the hip part to the diagonal part is always prohibited.

Rules abroad for transportation of children

Regulations for transporting children in cars apply in all countries that are members of the European Union (EU). There may be differences. Some countries require children under 1.50 meters (instead of 1.35 meters) to use a car seat. Also, not all exceptions apply everywhere. For the correct rules, it is best to contact the authorities of the relevant country. Information on the use of car child seats in the main vacation countries of Europe can be found in the dossier“Transporting children abroad external link” on the ANWB website.

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