Q&A - Old Car - No Seatbelts - Children

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We have a 1956 Ford Victoria, no seatbelts of course. I know it is legal for us to not have seatbelts on, but what about kids who are of the age that they no longer need a booster seat? Can we legally take them out in the car? Our grandsons are always wanting to go for a ride, and we say no as we do not have seat belts. What do you have to say about this?

Comments

Answer

The law:

Seat belt assembly

220(6) A person must not drive on a highway a motor vehicle in which there is a passenger who has attained age 6 but is under age 16 and who occupies a seating position for which a seat belt assembly is provided unless that passenger is wearing the complete seat belt assembly in a properly adjusted and securely fastened manner.

Definition

39.001 In this Division, "designated seating position" means a seating position for which a seat belt assembly is provided or is required to be provided under the Act.

Driver responsibilities

39.02 A person must not drive or operate a vehicle on a highway if

(c) there is a person in the vehicle who is not seated in a designated seating position,

Exceptions

39.03(2) Sections 39.01, 39.02 (b), (c) and (e) and 39.021(a) do not apply with respect to each of the vehicles set out in subsection (3) if

(a) the vehicle was originally manufactured without seat belt assemblies for each seating position and the vehicle was not modified so that there is a seat belt assembly for each seating position, and

(b) every person in the vehicle is seated in a seating position provided by the original vehicle manufacturer.

So, the bottom line is that children that are seated in a seat originally provided by the vehicle manufacturer that does not have a seatbelt is not required to be wearing one. Much the same logic applies to those covered by child restraint legislation in Division 36 as well.

Of course, if some seats have seatbelts and some don't, I think that it is proper that the adults make sure that the children are using them, but this is not required by law.

Finally, the decision that you have made prior to this about not taking the children for a ride is not a bad one. Like anything else in life, we need to carefully evaluate the risk and decide if we can live with the consequences of the bad results if we choose to take those risks.

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