There are no set rules and regulations to parenting, however, there are when it comes to driving with your child in the car.
To make sure parents are clued up on the latest UK rules and regulations, children’s nursery retailer and car seat experts, Kiddies Kingdom, have put together a guide of all the laws every parent should know about which they might not know they’re breaking.
The Car Seat Law
In the UK, children must use a car seat whilst travelling until they’re 12 years old or 135 centimetres tall, whichever comes first.
If parents are found not abiding by this law, they can face a fine of up to £500, plus three points on their license.
Jumaiyah Hussain, Showroom Manager at Kiddies Kingdom comments “you must be using a registered car seat, so no pushchair carrycots allowed. Babies should always travel in a rear facing car seat and they’re officially allowed forward face at 15 months of age. However, it is recommended to keep them rear facing as long as possible for maximum safety.”
Riding in a Taxi
There are some notable exceptions to this law. For example, if you are in a taxi, no car seat is needed. The same goes for a minibus, coach or van if there is no room for a car seat. In the event of an unexpected journey such as an emergency, you are not required to abide by the car seat law, however for safety, where possible car seats should always be used.
Driving Whilst Tired
It’s no secret that being a new parent can be tiring at times but driving whilst over-fatigued can land you in some serious trouble. Driving when tired can be considered careless driving and could see drivers land a fixed £100 penalty and three points on their licence. In more serious cases, this could lead to nine points on their licence and a £5,000 fine – or being disqualified from driving altogether.
Using a Tablet to Play a Children’s Show
To always exercise proper control of your vehicle you must not use a hand-held mobile phone, or similar device, such as a tablet for any purpose. Children often use tablet devices in cars, so this rule also includes if you are found helping them to adjust it when driving.
The law still applies if you’re stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic. Drivers found to be breaking it can face six points on their licence and a £200 fine and if taken to court, they can be banned from driving or get a maximum fine of £1,000.
Listening to Loud Children’s Music
Car journeys with kids can be fun with singalongs and laughter, however, make sure to avoid significant distractions when driving. Rule 148 of The Highway Code states that you should always avoid distractions when driving and this includes loud music.
If your music obstructs you from hearing potential hazards, this could put others at risk, and land a ‘driving without due care and attention’ or ‘dangerous driving’ charge. The penalties can be severe, with a fine of up to £5,000, nine points on your licence and even a driving ban in the most serious of circumstances.
Not Engaging Child Lock
Driving in the car with children without engaging the child lock could be considered irresponsible. If the door opens mid-drive, it is likely to cause careless driving which could result in points on your license, a fine of up to £5000 and even the loss of your license depending on the severity of the situation.
Jumaimah said, “these laws are set in place for the safety of you and your children. Keep clued up on the latest laws and regulations so you don’t find yourself with license points, a hefty fine, or potential harm to you, your child or others on the road.”
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