Transporting children safely
In September 2006 the law changed in respect of children travelling by minibus and coach, alongside the more widely publicised changes requiring child seats in cars.
In cars it is compulsory for children under 12 who are under 4’5” tall to use child restraints - baby seats, child seats, booster seats etc. In minibuses, the law says that child restraints must be used if available and appropriate. This means that it is not compulsory to provide them but they must be used if they are:
- available - in the minibus and not used by another child
- appropriate for the child - by age and weight
- appropriate for the minibus - they fit safely and securely.
Child seats are not generally suitable for the narrow seats in minibuses so should only be used if they fit safely and securely. Booster cushions are usually suitable and will substantially reduce the risk of injury to young children. If you do not have appropriate child restraints available in a minibus, the law says that children aged 3 to 11 must wear adult seat belts. Note that these will not fit correctly and will put the children at greater risk of serious injury than adults using the same belts.
If you regularly transport children under 12 who are under 4' 5'' tall (135cms) you should seriously consider using booster cushions as a minimum, as you have a duty of care to ensure that your passengers travel safely. More detail is available in Factsheet 7 - transporting children safely in minibuses 70kb
For further information, contact:
Tel: 01962 846983