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Car safety seats for children

Find out about child car seat regulations and child car seat checks.


An unrestrained child can be killed in an impact at speeds as low as five mph

In a collision at 30mph, an unrestrained child would hit the front seat - and anyone in it - with a force of between 30 to 60 times their own body weight.

The law states that:

  • Children under three years must use the child restraint appropriate for their weight in any vehicle (including vans and other goods vehicles). There is only one exception: a child under three may travel unrestrained in the rear of a taxi if the right child restraint is not available.

  • Rear-facing baby seats must not be used in a seat protected by a frontal air-bag unless the air-bag has been deactivated manually or automatically

  • In vehicles where seat belts are fitted, children three years to 135cm (approximately 4 foot 5 inches) in height or age 12 (whichever comes first) must use the appropriate child restraint.

Three exceptions allow these children to travel in the rear and use an adult seat belt:

  • in a taxi - if the right child restraint is not available
  • for a short distance in unexpected necessity, if the right child restraint is not available
  • where two occupied child seats in the rear prevent the fitment of a third child seat.

If you need any information or guidance about child car seats please contact Vanessa Ball, email: vanessa.ball@derbyshire.gov.uk