Motorhome seat belts: latest laws and regulation and how to comply

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  1. Richard says:

    Hi,we have a VW rialta 1996 with the rear living area made by Winnebago,I didn’t like the original lay out (fixed bed) so putting in a U shape seating come bed with lap beats.
    Because of the year it was made am I legal???
    Thanks
    Rich

    • Hi Richard, we’ve asked Tim Booth, Leisure Vehicles Officer at the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service, and given that the vehicle is undergoing substantial changes to the original, then this should be referred to the VCA for their consideration. Also, the DVLA would need to be notified and updated that there has been an increase in the seats provided.
      Other points that Tim makes, is that the ‘living area’ of the motorhome was constructed as such, and the ‘bed’ was constructed onto the platform created to provide that living area. With there being no necessity to provide any anchorage points in this area as there was no requirement to ‘secure’ passengers whilst in this area, so it is probable that there was no extension of the chassis to provide any.
      If this is the case then substantial work would be necessary to provide these anchorage points. They would need to be such that they provided secure mounting for the seats proposed, and then the restraints fitted for passengers being carried in their seats to use.
      The legislation in relation to a vehicle manufactured at this time would be :-
      If you are using a motorhome manufactured between 01/04/1982 and 30/09/1998 and that vehicle weighs up to 2540kgs MIRO, (unladen weight) then this must have seatbelts provided for the driver and the specified passenger. Any other belts can be three or two point secured belts. It is important to ensure that these belts are fitted to the substantial structure of the vehicle as the forces acting on them when in use are considerable.
      Hope this helps?

  2. geoff says:

    Must a seat in the back of a van conversion be a vehicle seat? If I had an engineer install a non vehicle seat fixed to the chassis and with seat belts would this be legal? I want to install a two seater recliner to aid my spinal condition. Do I have to use a regular car seat or can it be adapted from another type of seat? It would be front facing.

    • Hi Geoff. Vehicle seats are specifically designed to give protection to drivers/passengers, therefore a ‘reclining seat’ is unlikely to meet the strict regulations that cover their construction.

  3. Sandra arnold says:

    We are looking at purchasing a 6 birth motorhome kon tiki fiat. but the seats are double side facing. Would it be possible to have seat belts fitted on them please?

    • Hi Sandra. Bench seats don’t have anchorage points and being secured in a sideways position was one of the concerns that led to such an option being recently included in legislation to prohibit such fitting/use. It would be worthwhile speaking to Swift.

  4. Ron Bailey says:

    I have just purchased a 2002, 6 birth, Fiat Ducato 15 JTD LWB, Lifestyle 630L, it has a rear facing bench seat behind the drivers seat with no belts would it be possible to fit lap seat belts allowing these to become traveling seats for adults or children over 12 years or 135cms?

  5. Craig says:

    Thanks Liz that helps. But what would the maximum number of seats be?
    I don’t have any special license just a normal full driving license. How many people could I carry on that license and does that number match the amount of seats that could be legally installed into a potential project?
    Regards,
    Craig.

    • Hi Craig, the entitlements for ‘passengers’ carried (for Private use – not hire or reward) limits the numbers under Category B on the licence to 8 passenger seats plus the driver.( This was Cat D on older licences).

  6. Craig says:

    Hi.
    Can the number of passengers exceed the berth number assuming the passenger seats are fitted with required seatbelts and the passenger seats are facing the required way?

    • Thanks for getting in touch Craig. I’ve checked with Tim Booth, Leisure Vehicles Officer at Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service and he said:

      “As the legislation is driven by designated seats and not berths then this would be legal. A check with DVLA or the V5 should show the number of seats that are designated. Just fitting seatbelts to what are ‘perceived to be’ passenger seats may not comply with the original vehicle type approval so vehicle may then need ‘inspection’ to allow for DVLA update.”
      Hope this helps?

  7. gerryletaxi89@gmail.com old says:

    Talking to an importer of American Motorhomes at the NEC show,when I asked about the inward facing passenger seats with lap belts he told me that they got around it by getting single vehicle type approval.

  8. Jonathan Callow says:

    Hi I am thinking about converting a Ford Transit Panel Van into a Camper Van. I was intending on not using a rock and roll bed but building parrallell benches that would then have the table drop down in the middle to create the bed.
    I want to carry more passengers than just the three seats in the cab so i wanted to fit two more seat belts in the back and I am very aware that side facing seats cannot be used as designated travel seats.
    Do you know if it would it be acceptable to use 2 point seat belts in a forward facing fashion if the passengers had their backs to the doors, with adequate cushioning and support, and their feet up on the bench seats? Seat belts anchored to the chassis and not the doors obviously.
    Thank you and I look forward to your reply.
    Jon

    • Hi Jon. Thanks for your question. We put your question to specialist security adviser to the caravan and leisure industry Tom Booth. Here’s his response:
      “Whilst I am not an engineer I cannot see how the configuration of sitting with one’s legs on top of the side benches, and then being restrained by a lap belt, would actually work. I would suggest that the lap belt would not be capable of restraining any passenger, rather the forces acting in the case of braking would seek to force the passenger through the ‘loop’ created around them by the lap belt – which, I would suggest, then result in significant injuries being caused to the passenger. The normal positioning of a lap belt of course allows the passenger’s body to ‘flex’ around the belt at the time of any sudden deceleration, and the seated position, with feet on the floor, allows for this to be completed. This is, I would suggest, why it is not permitted for children to use lap belts – as the circumstances as described here would ‘force’ the child though the loop, as their feet would not be in a position on the floor to allow for the ‘restraining’to work.

      The issue here is not that the lapbelts would be securely fastened to the chassis framework of the vehicle, it is that the passenger(s) would not be securely restrained within the restraints, therefore exposing them to considerable danger.

      I would suggest that the cushioning and support suggested would not be adequate, as, after all, the passenger’s backs would be against the rear doors, which in the event of any collision may, as a result of any impact, spring open, thereby removing the essential support that the passengers were perhaps relying upon.
      Hope this answers your question?

  9. Ron Baily says:

    I have a rear facing bench seat behind the drivers seat would this require seat belts to be fitted if used for traveling passengers.

    • Hi Ron, we put your question to Tim Booth, specialist security adviser to the caravan and leisure industry. Here’s his response:

      “Whilst the answer to the question posed is actually age of vehicle dependant, there still remains the requirement under Construction and Use Regulations for a driver of a vehicle to ensure that anything carried by them – including passengers, is such that they are not subjected to any danger as a result of them being carried.

      Quite clearly an ‘unrestrained’ passenger is likely to be ‘thrown about’ if a vehicle travelling at speed has to brake suddenly, and the likely consequences would be that passengers would then sustain an injury.

      When you consider that those passengers may well be family/related then one has to consider whether such an ‘unsafe’ environment should be provided for anyone, but more especially close family members.

      The problem also exists that the fitting of seatbelts would require substantial anchorage points and these are often not available.

      Given such risks I would recommend that such a bench seat should NOT be used for the carriage of passengers unless such seatbelts ( three point for children / two point otherwise) could be securely fitted to the vehicle, in this way.”

      Hope this helps?

  10. Lawrence Clayton says:

    Hi Craig good article thanks
    I looking to retro fit a 90’s hymer (Because I love the classic style that has character)
    I am going to re-fit the sitting/dinning/bed area (Currently with Side ways seats) Change too two front facing and two rear-facing seats (With table in the middle, that turns into a bed) that comply with current European standards.
    Do you know the manufacturer of the seat frames that comply to European standards?

    Regards

    Lawrence

    • I can’t tell you for certain that they make seat frames to European standards but this company, Kintech, are NCC Approved and have International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Use of such standards suggests the products are safe, reliable and of good quality.

  11. john doyle says:

    Hi, I have a 1971 camper van. I have always been under the impression I do not need seat belts in the rear, is this right please.

    • Hi John
      Although not illegal for pre 1988 vehicles as far as seatbelt regs are concerned it becomes a little subjective. Should you be stopped by police whilst travelling over 60mph they could deem carrying passengers without seatbelts in the rear to be dangerous and therefore name it an offence. Our own advice for the safety of your passengers is never to travel without seatbelts.

  12. George Paterson says:

    The rules are complete ******* (-admin edited-): what sort of seat belts do we have on motorcycles or motorcycle and side car out fits old or modern. Or quad motorcycles. None! No crash helmets required on trickes or quads and yet we could go through a windshield of a car in a collision! And 70mph speed its all mad! So ina motorhome doing 60mph why then are adults at greater risk can someone explain why. if sitting on side seating with a wardrobe or toilet compartment between you and the fromt of the vehical waring a lap belt how are you at a greater risk than some of my examples listed above. Its not joined up thinking. I hear you say but you cant fit seat belts on a motorcycle! What the hell’ s that got to do with it. If you dont need them then you dont need them and it should be your choice?

    • Les Duffitt says:

      I own a 2002 Auto cruiser, when any legislation is created, all vehicles pre renew law date are not subject to this new money making rule because it is almost impossible to exercise the new ruling. I purchased this vehicle with the knowledge that it is a 4 birth.and therefore it has 4 plus seat inside.When you spend £60000 plus or be it a cheaper motor home, you purchase it because you have a family of 4 or more. Therefore I say it should be for the pupose that is is designed for and allow the no of occupants to use the seating fitted. they do not enforce older vehicles to comply any pre change dates with any new legislation because it is not possible to enforce so the pre new rules vehicles are exempt from having to comply This should apply yo Motor homes. If Like me travelled all over Europe with my kids and have owned motorhomes since 1973 12 vehicles in fact. I purchase a vehicle with only 2 seat belts, it is therefore not fit for purpose so I should be able to return it and get a full refund Just another note. If I was going to Spain with 4 or more passengers, do I send them by plane or train to the intended site. What idiot created this rule. He must be as thick as a plank.Les a long time motorhomer. totally disgruntled with the powers that be creating legislation to furnish their bushiness with orders. Les

  13. J cullen says:

    I have a August 2007Swift kontik 645 with 4 3 point belts and was
    wondering if it would be legal if I fitting a 2 point belt
    on a side facing seat for carrying an extra adult

  14. Susan Paterson says:

    The more I read the more confused I get. We have a 6 berth Swift Escape 696 2015. It has the two front belted seats plus three rear belted seats. It also has the option of having an additional belted seat taking it up to six belted seats in total, and thus has the three point system available in the final seat without the actual belt being fitted. The reasoning behind this is that the chassis would have to be re-plated to account for additional payload increase. Both drivers are pre 1997 so can drive up to 7.5 tons. My questions:
    – would we be breaking the law if we carried a passenger in that seat without a belt?
    – can we fit a belt without re-plating it?
    The government legislation states “where seatbelt are fitted” all the time so this is why I am so confused.

    • Motorhomes manufactured after January 2006 must have at least two point safety belts for all designated seats (the driver and specified passenger still requires three point system). The seats that are ‘designated’ for travel must be identified. As in a motorcar rear passengers in motorhomes will be required to use designated seats and seat belts. Sideways seats cannot be designated as travel seats.

  15. Terry Summers says:

    I have a Bedford Bambi 1989 which has two lap belts fitted in the rear on side facing bench seats. What is the status of these of these seats?

  16. Richard says:

    Hi, still a little unsure here, i have reclassified my vw transporter to a motor caravan with the DVLA, even tho the front facing seats are a bench seat, ie 2 seats 2 belts + drivers seat with belt (3 person) my v5 says 2 seats? also please clarify i am not allowed to carry passengers on my side seating
    Thank you

  17. Stewart Prratt says:

    Having read a lot of entries tonight I am now totally confused/bewildered! I own a 1996 coach built Elddis autostratus 75 5 berth motor home with a Peugeot boxer on the front, we have the two standard seats with factory fitted seat belts in the front, in the back we have 4 side facing lap belts fitted by elddis at the time of manufacture (of the motor home part) Am I now to understand that I cannot use these rear seats for the transportation of passengers??? Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Regards Stewart

  18. Garry Hogan says:

    I have a 1979 5 birth Bedford CF.
    do I need rear seat belts please.

  19. george gardner says:

    I have bought sundance 590rl moterhome on an04 plate can i take passengers in the rear

  20. emma says:

    I have bought a Renault traffic van. It has been converted but not on log book. I am insured with a company that covers conversions not registered. I want to put two forward facing seats with three point seatbelts in the back. I have found seats that flip and file into the side of a vehicle that have built in seatbelts. I could also choose regular forward facing seats with built in seatbelts if this is better. My questions are…. Do the seats have to be from the same modal of vehicle and if so why are companies making universal seats? As the seatbelts are built into the seat do I need a registered person to bolt the seats in place or can my local mechanic do it for me? Should I choose a rock n roll bed with belts do they have to be m1 tested, and if so why are companies fitting non tested ones with belts. If I add seats do I need to change log book and what do I need to do so. I am travelling on a ferry to Spain soon and concerned I do what I need to as I dont know what checks they do , eg do they check your log book regarding seats n passengers.

    • Hi Emma,

      I referred your query to leisure vehicle security expert Tim Booth. Here’s what he advised:

      “It has been possible to fit lap belts in some van conversions for rear passengers (other than for children – must be three point) – but as your enquiry refers to seats that have, as I understand it, the three point linkages fitted into the seat already, I am not sure though as to how these could then ‘flip’, I assume you mean ‘fold’ into the side?

      “For this to happen they would need to be secured to the floor rails with these substantial rails then being secured to the vehicle chassis – similar to those fitted in coaches. Many vans of course are not now built on a conventional chassis. The forces that would then be acting upon these ‘rails’ at the time they were put under the stress of restraining a passenger during braking would I believe be too much for a standard van construction to withstand, it may be worth talking to an engineer or someone who is may be able to make these calculations.”

      “Any change to a vehicle is of course ‘notifiable’ to DVLA and in particular the extra provision of seating will be a matter for any insurance company. I would suggest that if the vehicle alterations are carried out then the vehicle will need to be presented for a Basic IVA – Individual Vehicle Approval – seat belt anchorages are specifically referred to in the inspection list, see here (item 19) for details.

      “Once this process has been completed and the vehicle ‘Certificated’ then the IVA Certificate will be ‘recognised’ by other EC Countries as being ‘compliant’. This would not be a ‘quick’ process. Of course any ‘conversion’ is likely to attract more interest than a bespoke motorhome conversion so it is important that the correct documents are held, otherwise this may lead to the vehicle being seized by the local enforcement authorities and the issues that would then ensue with regard to having works carried out to allow for compliance before the vehicle could be released.”

      I hope this helps.

      Regards
      Lucie

  21. Ken says:

    I’m finding this side seat legislation and regulation thing a little confusing. Can you clarify for me if I can carry adults or children on my side facing seat without having any belts fitted? My motor home is a pilote px66 which is only 3 berth 3.100kg and class b ie coach built on an Alko chassis. The date of registration is 2003.
    Also what is the situation if a passenger sat forward or rear facing on the side seat with their feet up? Would belts then be required or meet the requirements

    Thanks

    • Hi Ken,

      Many thanks for getting in touch. I referred your query to leisure vehicle security expert, Tim Booth, who advises:

      A motorhome manufactured after 01/10/1998 must have seat belts fitted for the driver and any forward facing passengers. Three point belts are required for the driver and the specified passenger- other front seat belts may be two point – providing that this passengers head could not strike the windscreen in the event of the vehicle being involved in a collision. Optional seat belts fitted to the rear can be either three or two point secured belts – fitting advice as above.

      Note:-
      Child seats / restraints can only be used with a three point seat belt system. Child car seats are governed by height of the child, children must normally use a child car seat until they are 12yrs of age, or they attain the height of 135cm. It is important for the child’s safety to comply with the additional instructions for the use of such seat systems.

      And……

      In April 2012 the legislation that relates to the use of sideways facing seats was adopted. European Whole Vehicle Type Approval Regulations prohibit the use of side facing seats as travel seats (2005/39/EC). This finally covering the offence rather than relying on the interpretation of the Construction and Use Regulations. Enforcement Agencies may still rely on these regulations when considering any prosecution. (See here – section 8)

      I hope this helps.

      Many thanks

      Lucie

  22. Jim brownsett says:

    Hi I have an Autocruise Wentworth 4 berth the 2 front seats have 3 point belts. The seats in the back are sideways on. I am thinking of fitting s lap belts so the 2 passengers in the back would sit facing the rear with their legs on the bed and using the rear of the front seats with padding on as back rests would this be allowable.

  23. Peter says:

    Please motorhome owners….read here…

    Seat belts have been fitted to the front seats of motorhomes since legislation first required them to be fitted and it is mandatory to wear them.
    In addition, motorhomes first registered on or after 20 October 2007 must have seat belts for forward and rearward facing seats. These seats must be designated as travelling seats and have a badge stating this. In a vehicle manufactured after this date, if a seat is not badged for travel you should not use it.
    Many motorhomes registered before that date have seat belts fitted, Wherever these are fitted, they should be worn; this has been mandatory since April 2006.
    EC Directive 2005/39/EC also states that travel in sideways-facing seats with a seat belt is unsafe and that from 20 October 2007, it will not be possible to travel in them in new motorhomes.
    This legislation is not retrospective so vehicles registered before 20 October 2007 do not have to have seat belts fitted in the rear.

    Please see the Direct.gov website for more seat belt information.

  24. Kevin Clarke says:

    I have recently purchased a 1999 vw van which I am converting to a camper van. The laws are a bit vague on the fitting of side facing seats and belts. I would like more than the 3 seats in front. What can I legally fit please?

    • Kevin
      We asked Tim for you on this one.

      He said “I cannot see how you could physically fit more than three seats in the front of any standard production VW van / vehicle. I can see it working on some of the VERY wide American derived vehicles but with a standard UK width production VW I would suggest that even with a bench seat configuration then it would only be possible to achieve the two standard seats – nearside and offside ( both equipped with three point seatbelts systems) and then the ‘middle’ seat could be fitted with a lap belt – as per the standard recommendations.

      Of course this centre seat position CANNOT be used by any young child that requires any ‘accessory’ to sit there – child seat / booster seat- as these can only be used where a three point fitting is in use.”

      Hope this helps.
      Thanks
      Craig

  25. Les. Duffitt says:

    Hi I have owned 12 motor homes since 1975. Most being brand new. I have travelled to most Euopean countries and as far down as Casablanca with my two daughters. The first encounter with tear seat belts came with a vw Rialto, it had 4 front facing seats and 4 rear sideq facing seats belted with 4 lap belts. The most forward seats were up against the cabinets makin a safe position in the case of an impact. I now have 2002 Autocruise Monach. Their top of the range mode. Alas no rear side facing seats or belts. Why cannot seat belts be fitted to the two sections of side facing seats furthest away from the cab with the passengers sat facing the front of the vehicle and with their legs upon the seat cushion instead of on the floot. And three point belts holding them in place, I think is a safer positon than the chair seating position. I have tried to contact the manufacturer and they do no have purchaser relationship and the fob you off telling you to to the dealer you bough it off. The dealer is no interested with manufacturer issues. As I did not buy it off them but off a privare seller. To me sat on a bench/ bed seat is a safer position to be. Very frustrated motorhomer. Les

  26. Ian says:

    Hi, I am looking at purchasing a 4 berth motorhome that has only side facing rear seats, am I able to get lap belts fitted to transport 2 additional people?

    • Hi Ian,

      Many thnaks for getting in touch. I referred you query to leisure vehicle security expert, Tim Booth.

      Tim says, “In terms of legislation it actually depends on the date of manufacture. In terms of safety and the latest legislation, the European Whole Vehicle Type Approval ( April 2012) prohibits the use of sideways facing seats for travel. Fitting such a ‘device’ like a lap belt could result in serious injury being caused to those persons who are secured by such a provision at the time of the vehicle being involved in any road traffic collision. The action of being thrown forward whilst being restrained in this way resulted in extensive injuries and was one of the factors considered when deciding upon the current legislation.”

      I hope this helps.

      Many thanks

      Lucie

  27. Caroline Watts says:

    I’m still finding this article unclear. If you have a Motorhome pre 2005 with rear facing seats and side facing seats (the seats are not classed as designated ) can you carry passengers without a seat belt and be with in the law??

    • Hi Carlonine,

      Sorry for any confusion – I’ve spoken to Tim Booth regarding your query.

      He says that…

      April 2012 is the marker for an M1 class vehicle. After that date it is illegal to carry passengers under specific legislation. Construction and Use Regegulation 100 still applies regarding the safe carriage issue, so whilst 2005 falls outside of what may be described as ‘specific’ legislation the carriage of unsecured passengers would still not be recommended as a safe means of carriage.

      A Police officer, or other enforcement officer, may deem the use as dangerous and seek to remove the unsecured passenger, or prosecute for the Reg 100 offence.

      I hope this answers your question.

      Many thanks

      Lucie

  28. Colin says:

    When we purchased our Motorhome in 2012, we were told that we were allowed to carry passengers on the side way seats by our dealer who had checked this with the Traffic Police. Is this correct?

  29. Colin says:

    If you buy a 4 berth Motorhome and there are only two designated seats, ie.passenger and driver, how can it be classed as 4 berth because you will never be able to carry 4 people?

    • Hi Colin
      Thanks for your comment
      Unfortunately berths relates to the number of people a motorhome can accommodate in terms of beds to sleep in not travel seats. Credit to Elddis who since 2012 have stuck by the principle of “belts = berths” – I believe it’s still the only motorhome manufacturer which promises a seatbelt for every berth on its new motorhomes.

  30. Terry ryder says:

    Still not quite clear on seat belt legislation.I have 4berth autostratos with L shape bench seating in the rear.Can I carry passengers on sideways facing seat legally? The camper is insured as four seater.

  31. Mr J D Duplain says:

    Help please
    Ok still none the wiser? I have an Swift / Autocruise Augusta 2011 with side seating. There are 2 front seats with proper belts. Can I carry passengers on the side seating?

    Many thanks

    Regards

    John.

    • Carl says:

      Did you ever find out about this? My dad owns an autocruise which I insured on so looking to get away in it but would like to take more than one friend only one more. But this article confuses me. Simple yes or no would have done ha. Thanks carl

    • Sideways facing seats cannot be designated as travel seats for motorhomes manufactured 2006 onwards.

  32. Richard Hardie says:

    Very interesting article
    The article certainly points out that forward facing passengers in the rear must wear correctly fitted seat belts but as no mention made of rear facing seats does this imply that seat belts not required? or that rear facing passengers not allowed

  33. Terry Royle says:

    When we purchased our first motorhome, a 2 berth 2002 Autocruise Starspirit, three years ago we asked if we could take it for a test drive before finalising the deal. The gentleman at the showroom agreed, I drove he sat in the passenger seat and my wife sat in the rear without seat belts. Luckily we weren’t stopped by the police or have an accident as I assume I would have been the one penalised. At no time did the salesman say my wife was travelling illegally. When we decided to change our motorhome the first time my wife rode in the new one was as we pulled out of the showroom after purchasing it, sitting in the passenger seat legally. I wonder how many other customers of all the dealerships around the country put themselves in risk of prosecution by unknowingly taking passengers for test drives?

  34. Bob says:

    I have a 4 Berth Swift Sundance registered in 2004. The Driver & Front Passanger Seats have 3 Point Safety Belts but the Front Facing seats to the rear of tkr van do not have any Safety Belts.
    If by law that Motorhomes after 1988 should have seatbelts fitted for front facing passengers, should these not have been fitted by the manufacturer when the van was produced?
    If so, is it possible to make a claim against the Manufacturer to have them fitted?

  35. Thanks for your comments everyone, we’ll try to answer your questions as soon as we can. In the meantime, our last article on motorhome seatbelts may be able to help some of you with the more specific queries.

    See here for further details.

  36. Colin says:

    Ok still none the wiser? I have an Autotrail with side seating on a 2007. There are 2 front seats with proper belts. Can I carry passengers on the side seating?

    Many thanks

    Regards

    Colin

    • Hi Colin,

      Again, Construction and Use Regulation 100 applies here – Those manufactured after Jan 2006 must have at least two point safety belts for all designated seats

  37. Joe Howle says:

    How should a pet dog be secured in a motorhome – some are large and heavy.

  38. Sue Hutsby says:

    I would like to carry one extra passenger in the rear of my Motorhome, therefore require a seat belt. Unfortunately I cannot find anyone who can do this for me. It’s like I’m asking the impossible! Can you give me any contact telephone numbers and names of companies that would fit me a rear seat belt, please?

  39. Pat Bradley says:

    I have a Burstner 680T, it has seat belts for all of the forward facing travel seats but as is so often the case no mention is made about carrying animals. I have had an anchore point put on the side faceing seat for my dog so that we can use her harness as we do if she is in the car. I think it is an oversight on the part of the authorities for not making this a legal requiremen both for the safety of the passengers and the animal, it also acts as a safeguard when we have to get out of the van for any reason, we are confident the dog will stay put and be safe.

  40. Chris Irvine says:

    We have a 2005 fiat napoli with two front seat belts, can seat belts be fitted to the rear seat and if so how much would this cost approximately?

  41. Paul says:

    If motorhomers are not allowed to Carry passengers restrained in side facing seats, even when there vehicle are four birth and greater, how are Land Rover, panel vans, public transport, busses and the like able to do just that, having very young children some in pushchairs with No resrtraint what so ever get away with doing just that.
    It seams to me it’s yet another way of penalising the Motorhomers and yet another money maker for the so called authorities.
    I look forward to a reply

  42. Paul,Hayden says:

    Well summarised article, clearly written. Well done!

  43. Paul Leader says:

    I am still unclear about the seatbelt law from what I have read does this mean that I can not carry passengers in my autotrail Dakota six berth 57 reg so the only people who can travel in the motorhome are.tonly the driver and passenger 2 people side facing seats can not be used please advise Paul Leader

    • Hi Paul Leader

      A six berth unit may only have two designated seats – check with the manufacturer – any additional persons carried may invalidate insurance cover and in the event of any check offences disclosed under Construction and Use Regulation 100

      Thanks

  44. Kevin Wharton says:

    What is the legal situation when carrying, say, five passengers when a Motorhome has only four designated travelling seats? Is the fifth passenger allowed to travel in the Motorhome?

  45. elaine beaudro says:

    I have a 1986 FIAT DUCATO 5 berth motorhome. I dont know the weight or passenger capacity. Driver and front passenger belts fitted. Rear set up is one long seat on nearside which is single bed. Opposite on offside are 2forward and 2 rear facing seats which fits a table in between when not in use as a double bed. Other double bed is above cab. There are no rear seat belts. Because the two forward facing seats dont have belts i have been putting these seats down for passengers, so basically have been carrying 3 sideways facing passengers on either side. I have been under the impression that i could carry 8 people (including driver) this way, assuming i was obeyingthe law on forward faci ng passengers being belted.
    Now worried having read sideways facing rule from 2012.
    How do i know how many rear passengers i can carry? Especially considering how can i find out the unladen and laden allowed weight?
    Also is there any way i could get belts fitted?

    • HI Elaine,

      Tim tells me that The V5 may indicate number of persons that can be carried – if not check with manufacturer as to what number of designated seats were included. Forward and rearward facing seats may be capable of being upgraded with the fitting of three point belts. Weights for vehicles are displayed on a small plate – usually to be found under the bonnet – or perhaps on the driver’s side door pillar. This info show MTPLM ( Maximum Permitted weight ) and then the axle weights – followed by the train weight ( to include any trailer being towed).

      I hope this helps

      Lucie

  46. Alan Kennett says:

    Ok I understand about seated passengers and seatbelts, what about a single bed behind the driver, a second driver in a truck can I believe sleep behind the driver whilst the vehicle is in motion, so my question is : Can a passenger sleep behind the driver of a Motorhome, whilst the vehicle is in motion unrestrained?

  47. Dave says:

    Although I fully appreciate the dangers around side facing seats if there are no seat belts fitted how can a person fail to comply with the law. Would I be correct in saying that European Whole Vehicle Type Approval Regulations only means they cannot be fitted to side facing seats. I do appreciate you could be reported for carrying passengers in a dangerous manner.

  48. Roger Pilgrim says:

    I have a 4berth motor home insured with you. It has a 5th seat sideways on with no seat belt. The registration certificate states ” 4 seats including the driver.”
    Can I up grade my van to a 5 seater by turning the sideways to a rear faceing seat with seat belts?
    At the NEC show I saw a new van of the same make and layout which had this proposed arrangement.
    What are the implications regarding such a change and acceptance by insurance and DVLA document?
    Thanking you for your attention.

    • Hi Roger,

      They shouldn’t be using the seats as ‘travelling’ seats – ( designated seats) – Failure to comply would rest with the person in charge of the vehicle – the driver, who has the ultimate responsibility for the ‘load’ that they are carrying.

      Thanks

  49. Andrew says:

    We currently have 2-point seat belts in the rear of our motorhome but would like to replace them with 3-point. Can you recommend seat belt installers in the Nottingham area? Many thanks.

    • Hi Andrew, Tim’s suggested you contact your local DVSA officers for advice of locally accredited fitters as this is not a DIY job. See here for details.

    • Hi Andrew,
      The construction of the seat is crucial here – whilst the vehicle seen may appear to be the same, it is essential that the mounting points are found to be capable of such an amendment. A check with the manufacturer may reveal what they have had to do to achieve this new layout – and whether feasible for an older version. Any increase needs to be advised to DVLA and then to insurer.

      I hope this helps.

      Lucie

  50. John Taylor says:

    I Purchessd my motorhome a pre September 07 in the believe that seatbelts were not needed in the back.after September 07 the seatbelt law changed so no passagers couldn’t travel in the back unseated unless in a seatbelt.help.

    • Construction and Use regulations apply here John Taylor – Those manufactured after Jan 2006 must have at least two point safety belts for all designated seats – your September 2007 vehicle should comply.
      Thanks

  51. David Beakhust says:

    The explanation is silent on the issue of turntables for front seats. On many indeed most, one of the anchorages – usually the semi rigid stalk you clip into,- are fixed to a mounting point on the subframe of the seat, so rotate with the turntable.
    This is exercising Dutch motorhome owners as their vans are being failed at an alarming rate, for having a turntable, in their equivalent of the MOT. THERE IS CLEARLY A CONFLICT. A seat belt may not be altered, nor may it be fixed to a point not originally intended for it. So if a turntable is fitted, there is normally no point on the fixed structure below the turntable to which it can be attached without (in terms of the law) “altering” it. I assume that our laws and those of the Dutch derive from the same European regulations.

    • Hi David,

      Tim says that most regulations are now shared across Europe – however some countries choose to adopt their own versions of the legislation into their own legal framework.

    • Lez says:

      My question was not re three seat in the front of a VW, But why cannot belt be fitted to side facing seats when the occupants are sat with feet on the squab of these seats with their backs to the padded funiture and three point belts fitted through the floor on the the top of the chassis and bolted to them chassis members. patients in ambulances are strapped in in a similar way. it would be very safe only the occupants would have their legs and feet on the squab. it is a good solution and would enable all side facing seats to be quipped with belts. I quote, Four birth motorhome with only two legal seat belts. the other two family members must travel separate. Someone is an Idiot creating this directive.
      Les Duffitt owned 13 motor homes for over 50 years and

      • Hi Lez
        Reading back through the original article we wrote on this subject, I think the reason why a three point belt on a sideways facing seat wouldn’t be permitted is simply because any sideways facing seat is not deemed as safe as a forward facing one.
        European Whole Vehicle Type Approval Regulations prohibit the use of side facing seats as travel seats, stating that ‘Research has shown that it is not possible to provide side-facing seats with safety belts ensuring the same level of safety to the occupants as front-facing seats.”
        An ambulance must have simply be exempt from these regulations.
        Kind regards
        Craig

        Thanks

        Craig

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