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Please help me understand about car seat requirements!

(9 Posts)
soundsystem Sun 06-Jul-14 19:39:11

Hi all

Ok, sorry if this is a really stupid question, but I'd appreciate some help!

We don't have a car so have no requirement for a car seat (live in inner London so walk/use public transport). However, we will be visiting relatives when dd1 is around 6 weeks and ideally they will collect us from the airport and drive us the short (15 mins) distance to their house.

I've checked the government website, and it says a car seat must be used uness it's a licensed mini cab that doesn't have one.

So if I understand it correctly, I could get a mini cab and sit in the back holding the baby or with it in a sling, but if a relative comes to collect us in their car (which is no different to a mini cab) then we need a car seat fitted?

That doesn't seem to make sense?

I understand of course that using a car seat is safer, but I just want to check if I've understood this correctly, as it doesn't seem to make much sense...

SomethingAboutNothing Sun 06-Jul-14 19:41:46

Yes that is correct, the only time you legally don't have to use a car seat is in a taxi. However I would think most people would want to ensure their child is safely in a suitable seat when in a car, whether they legally have to or not.

littleducks Sun 06-Jul-14 19:42:41

You have understood correctly.

The exemption for minicabs is for practical reasons in an emergency, say if you were on a train that got diverted with baby late at night there is a legal way to get home.

But babies are safer in car seats so they law is to be used every time in a private car.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Sun 06-Jul-14 19:45:48

Please do not carry your dc on your knee or in a sling in a car. TaxI or not. You either need to buy an infant carseat or see if you know anyone who can loan you one (only loan from a trusted friend as once car seats have been involved in a bump they must be scrapped).

nocheeseinhouse Sun 06-Jul-14 20:11:01

Who cares about legalities? You can have an accident in 5 minutes, or 5 hours, in the car. Be safe, not sorry, an infant carrier is relatively light, and easy to get hold of. You'll find it useful, even if you don't have a car yourself. Perhaps a friend could lend you one?

soundsystem Sun 06-Jul-14 20:17:56

Thanks all. Was just confused about why it would be seen as "safe" for a mini cab but not otherwise, as I thought the safest option was always to use a car seat.

The bit about emergencies makes sense, I didn't think of that.

Will see if we can borrow one from a friend for when we are there.

Thanks again

donkir Sun 06-Jul-14 20:19:27

If you get caught not using a car seat then not only you but also the driver of the car will be in trouble with the police. I'd borrow one from a friend if you can.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Sun 06-Jul-14 20:44:39

Its not seen as "safe" for a minicab. Its seen as a legal allowance, as a pp said, so that no matter what your situation you can, in the eyes of the law, get yourself and your baby home from somewhere.

Car seat is safe. No car seat is unsafe.

CeliaBowen Sun 06-Jul-14 20:47:47

Depending on how you are going to get from your house to the airport, it might be better to get your relative to borrow one at their end. That's what we did when my cousin came to stay. It saved them having to lug one on the plane (as they can be very badly damaged in the hold).

Personally, I wouldn't lend someone a car seat to take on a plane.

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