The law on seat belts

Who must wear a seatbelt?

The Motor Vehicles (Wearing of Seat Belts) Regulations 1993 make it a requirement for all drivers and passengers to wear a seat belt.

What is the punishment for a seat belt offence?

You could receive an on the spot fine of £100, up to the maximum £500 for not wearing a seatbelt. Currently, you cannot receive penalty points for committing a seatbelt offence.

However, it has recently been suggested that the government is considering more stringent options to tackle the 30% of people killed in Britain as a result of failing to wear a seat belt. These options include “introducing penalty points”

This additional deterrent may place a greater motivation on the driver to ensure that all passengers, along with themselves were fully secured before beginning the journey ahead.

Penalty points are already issued for most minor motoring offences such as speeding, driving without due care and attention, and driving without insurance.

Are there any exceptions to the requirement to wear a seat belt if one is fitted?

There are very limited exceptions to the requirement to wear a seat belt.

Medical exemptions:

In limited circumstances, your medical condition may prohibit your ability to wear a seat belt, in which case you may be able obtain a certificate of exemption.

If you believe that you have a condition which warrants seat belt exemption, you should see your GP who will consider the harm caused by wearing the seat belt against the potential risk of injury or death if an accident were to occur.  In the event that your GP does issue you with a certificate of exemption from compulsory seat belt wearing, you must inform your insurance company and keep the certificate inside your vehicle to be shown to the police officer in case you are stopped.

Other circumstances:

You need not wear a seat belt in the following, limited circumstances:

  1. You are reversing, or supervising a learner driver who is reversing
  2. You are investigating a fault in a trade vehicle in which you are a passenger
  3. You are inside a police or rescue vehicle such as an ambulance or fire engine
  4. You are a licenced taxi driver who is carrying passengers who is ‘plying for hire’
  5. You are making a delivery in a goods vehicle which is travelling 50 metres or less between stops.


All children must wear a seat belt if they are either 12 years old or more than 135cm tall.

Younger children must be seated in the correct car seat for their height or weight. Click here for further details:

As the driver, you could incur a fine of up to £500 for failing to ensure that a child under 14 is not using the correct car seat or wearing a seat belt if caught by the police.

Who we are

Ashworth Motoring law is a highly specialised criminal law firm which focuses solely on representing drivers who are at risk of losing their driving licence. Our in-house experts are all senior solicitors at the top of their field and represent motorists from all walks of life, from your local taxi driver to high profile individuals who feature heavily in the press.

 Why we do what we do

At Ashworth motoring law we are dedicated to keeping drivers on the road. We believe that no driver’s licence should be placed in jeopardy due to a lack of legal or technical knowledge. That’s why we’re always striving to deliver relevant, current content to keep you up to date with issues that could affect your freedom to drive.

We know the devastating impact that a disqualification from driving could have on a person’s life, career and family. It’s from that understanding that we fight to save the driving licences of motorists throughout the Country, to ensure that no person is disqualified where a valid defence or judicial discretion is available.

If you have been accused of committing a motoring offence and would like to discuss your case in confidence with a specialist motoring law solicitor call 0330 33 22 770 or email Our expert solicitors will listen to the details of your case and let you know instantly if your licence could be saved.