Other Vehicles (Buses, Coaches and Minibuses)
Buses that are designed for urban use with standing passengers are not required to have seat belts. Other types of buses that were made after 1 October 2001 must be fitted with three point seat belts or retractable lap belt in all forward and rearward facing seats.
Coaches made or first used after 1 October 2001 are fitted with three point seat belts or retractable lap belt in all forward and rearward facing seats.
Passengers over the age of 14 years must wear a seat belt in coaches. They must be notified of the requirement to wear a seat belt (this is usually by a notice on the vehicle, an announcement or a film). Each passenger is legally responsible for wearing their seat belt.
The law does not yet require passengers under 14 years old to wear a seat belt. However, all passengers are strongly advised to wear seat belts or the correct child seat on all journeys.
Minibuses are fitted with three point seat belts on forward facing seats, and three-point seat belts or lap belts in rearward-facing seats. Minibuses above 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight may have lap belts on forward-facing seats provided that any surface in front of the seat is an energy-absorbing surface.
Passengers in the front seats, and any exposed seat, must use a seat belt or an appropriate child car restraint.
Rear seats in small minibuses
All passengers in the rear of minibuses that have an unladen weight of 2,540 kg or less must wear seat belts or use an appropriate child restraint. It is the driver's responsibility to ensure that:
- Children under three years of age use an appropriate child restraint
- Children aged from three years up to their 12th birthday, and under 1.35 metres (approx 4'5") tall, use an appropriate child restraint if available, or if not available, wear the seat belt
- Children aged 12 and 13years (and younger children who are 1.35 metres or taller) use the seat belt.
Rear seats in larger minibuses
In minibuses over 2,540 kg unladen weight passengers aged 14 years or over must a wear seat belt. Passengers aged three to 13 years are not yet required by law to wear seat belts, although they are strongly advised to wear a seat belt, or to use a child restraint if one is available.
Passengers must be notified of the requirement to wear a seat belt (usually by a notice on the vehicle, an announcement or a film), but each passenger is legally responsible for wearing their seat belt.
Child Restraints on buses, minibuses and coaches
Operators are not required to provide child seats because it is not practical for them to carry a range of different child seats on their vehicles. However, they may allow parents or others to supply their own child car seat for a use on a minibus journey.