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Horsebox passengers and seatbelts

Interpreting the word of the law is once again cloudy for drivers of horseboxes. Legislation written specifically for motorhomes is the most closely associated and applies as set out below:

Seats in the rear of a horsebox, did not, prior to October 2007, require seatbelts (whether forward, rearward or sideways facing) and it was not illegal to carry unrestrained passengers in them while travelling, providing the vehicle is not overloaded and that there is access from the cab to the living area.

An EU Directive (2005/40/EC) on the installation of seat belts required that from 20 October 2007 new vehicles have to have seat belts fitted on all seats except those seats intended solely for use when the vehicle is stationary. 

Specifically, it is important note the specific legislation relating to the carrying of children onboard goods vehicles. By law, children must wear the correct restraint whilst in a moving vehicle. Children aged up to 3 years old cannot therefore travel in a vehicle without seatbelts.

From May 2009, the seat belt wearing directive would prevent more passengers being carried than there are seat belts in the rear of vehicles. 
It is possible, in many cases, to have seatbelts fitted retrospectively to all forward and rearward facing seats. These seatbelts must be fitted by a professional installer and you should always consult with your insurance company prior to carrying out any modification.


Last updated: 07/09/2010
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