Car MOT Manual 2012 onwards

Seat Belts and Supplementary Restraint Systems - 5.1 Seat Belt Requirements

This inspection applies to all statutory seat belts.
Method of Inspection
1. Check that each seat that requires a seat belt is fitted with one of the appropriate type.
Reason for Rejection
1. A statutory seat belt: • missing • of the wrong type.

Seat Belts and Supplementary Restraint Systems - 5.1 Seat Belt Requirements

1 . Seats requiring belts

Seatbelt requirements depend on vehicle age, type and number of seats. To determine the requirements refer to the flow charts on pages 3 to 8 and then the relevant table on pages 9 to 10 in conjunction with the following notes. Unless stated, seats are not required to be fitted with seat belts.

2. Passenger seats

Passenger seats are those designated for normal use when the vehicle is travelling on the road. Seating arrangements only intended for use when the vehicle is stationary e.g. settee etc in the living area of a motor caravan are not required to have seat belts.

3. Side facing seats

Side facing seats are not required to be fitted with seat belts.

4. Occasional seats

Occasional seats that fold down when not in use are not required to be fitted with seat belts. Care must be taken in assessing whether seats are, by manufacture, intended for everyday use with the ability to be folded for extra luggage space or intended for occasional use. Seats for everyday use should not be considered as occasional seats.

5. Goods vehicle conversion

A goods vehicle which has been converted to a passenger vehicle specification i.e. fitted with rear seats and side windows etc. must comply with the relevant passenger vehicle requirements.
Method of Inspection
6. Seats in goods vehicles

Seats fitted to the rear of the drivers compartment in a goods vehicle are not required to be fitted with seat belts unless the seat is the specified front passenger seat see note 7.

7. Specified front passenger seat

The specified front passenger seat requiring a seat belt is the seat which is: • foremost in the vehicle and • furthest from the drivers seat Unless there is a fixed partition separating the passenger seat from a space in front of it which is alongside the drivers seat, e.g. certain types of taxis, buses etc.

8. 3 Point belt

3 point belt means a seat belt which: • restrains the upper and lower parts of the torso • includes a lap belt • is anchored at not less than three
9. Adult harness belt

An adult harness belt comprising a lap belt and shoulder straps bearing a British Standard or European approval marking an upper case E or lower case e and a number is an acceptable alternative to any of the seat belt types listed.
Reason for Rejection
10. Vehicle definitions

An ambulance is a motor vehicle which is specially designed and constructed and not merely adapted for carrying as equipment permanently fixed to the vehicle, equipment used for medical, dental, or other health purposes and is used primarily for the carriage of persons suffering from illness, injury or disability. A motor caravan is "a motor vehicle not being a living van which is constructed or adapted for the carriage of passengers and their effects and which contains, as permanently installed equipment, the facilities which are reasonably necessary for enabling the vehicle to provide mobile living accommodation for its users". Motor caravans are not classed as goods vehicles for MOT test purposes and are therefore in Class 4 or 5 depending on their seating capacity but regardless of their size or weight. A living van is "a vehicle, whether mechanically propelled or not, which is used for living accommodation by one or more persons and which is also used for the carriage of goods or burden which are not needed by such one or more persons for the purpose of their residence in the vehicle". Living vans are classed as goods vehicles and, depending on their weight, are therefore in either Class 4 or 7 within the MOT test scheme or are subject to HGV plating and testing. A coach is a motor vehicle which is constructed or adapted to carry more than 16 seated passengers, with a DGW of more than 7,500kg and a maximum speed in excess of 60mph.

Seat Belts and Supplementary Restraint Systems - 5.1 Seat Belt Requirements

Method of Inspection
Reason for Rejection
Seat Belt Requirements.1
Seat Belt Requirements.2
Seat Belt Requirements.3
Seat Belt Requirements.4
Seat Belt Requirements.5
Seat Belt Requirements.6
Seat Belt Requirements.7
Seat Belt Requirements.8

Reproduced from the MOT Inspection Manual by kind permission of THE VEHICLE INSPECTORATE.

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