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Phones, car seats – it’s all change as from 1st March

So here we are then, already into the third month of 2017 and already there has been a pretty hefty shift in legislation that affects your behaviour and the penalties you could face if your behaviour goes against what is demanded behind the wheel.

To be honest, you’d have to have been living under a stone to not know that from 1st March 2017 that greater penalties are now to be directed against anybody who uses a device capable of receiving phone calls or an internet signal.  Whilst this has been illegal since 2003, regular polls show a high instance of drivers still choosing to ignore the legislation, hence now drivers caught using their mobile phone behind the wheel will now receive a fine of £200, double the previous charge.  The maximum fine a car to motorbike driver could receive is £1,000 if your case goes to court. Bus and HGV drivers could see their fine increasing to £2,500.   In addition, motorists who have had their licences for less than two years could well be banned if they use their device just once and have to repeat both their theory and practical test.

Remember – This law still applies even if you are stopped at traffic lights, queuing in traffic or if the engine is running. 

In addition, and this is something that has seemingly come in without being noticed, are the laws on children’s booster seats, so here is a breakdown:

  1. Backless booster seats can only be used for children over 125cm tall and who weigh more than 3st 6.5lbs.
  2. Children must use a car seat until they’re 12 years old or 135cm tall.
  3. Only EU approved car seats can be used in the UK.
  4. Children can travel without a car seat if the journey is unexpected, necessary or over a short distance (over three years old only).
  5. Children up to 15 months old must be in a rear facing car seat, after 15 months they can move into a forward facing one.
  6. Children can travel in a taxi without a seatbelt, but must sit in the rear of the car & if over three wear an adult seatbelt.
  7. Children can travel in a coach without a seatbelt.
  8. If you are in a car without a seatbelt then children under three cannot travel in it.
  9. If you have lots of kids – and there isn’t room for a third car seat. the third child can either travel in the front with a car seat, or in the back without one if over three years old.

The new laws for backless booster seats only apply to manufacturers and the labelling of new seats on sale, please make sure that you read up on these laws as you will face a £500 fine if you are found travelling with your child in the incorrect seat requirements for their age, height and weight.

So whatever you’re doing behind the wheel, this Kent courier implores you to do it safely and legally.

Until next time…

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