In Britain, all children travelling in cars must use the correct child restraint until they reach the age of 12, or 1.35m in height. After this, they must use an adult seat belt. If a child is younger than three and in the front seat, he must use the correct restraint according to his weight and size. It is illegal for a child to be placed in a rear-facing child seat if the car has frontal airbags.
There are a few exceptions in the back of the car. In a licensed taxi or private hire car, a child must use the correct child restraint unless one is unavailable. In this case, the child can travel unrestrained (without using the adult seatbelt). If there is no child seat available in a licensed taxi or private hire car, or the child is travelling a short distance unexpectedly, or two child seats prevent a third being fitted, the child must use the adult seatbelt instead. If seat belts are not available, they may travel unrestrained.
For children aged 12 and over or at least 1.35m tall, adult seat belts must be worn in the front and back seats. Drivers can be fined up to £500 (Dh2,800) for breaking the rules. In the United States, seat-belt legislation varies by state. In California, for example, children up to the age of six or up to 27kg in weight must be restrained in a child seat. Children older than six or weighing more than 27kg must use adult belts.
In 1970, the state of Victoria, Australia, passed the first law worldwide making seat-belt wearing compulsory for drivers and front-seat passengers. It was quickly adopted across the country. Now the Australian Road Rules require children up to the age of six months to be restrained in a rearward facing child restraint; from six months until the age of four to be restrained in either a rearward or forward-facing child restraint; and from four years until the age of seven to be restrained in either a forward-facing child restraint or booster seat. Those aged below 16 years must be restrained in an approved child restraint or a properly fastened seat belt. All adults must wear a seat belt.
* The National