If you’re still confused about the legal requirements for driving with a child in a car, let’s clear that up for you. The National Road Traffic Act does not have a specific regulation in respect of children sitting in the front seat, but it does stipulate a baby should be in an approved and preferably rear-facing child seat. Older children (15 to 25 kg) should be secured in a booster seat with a seatbelt on, preferably in the rear of the vehicle. The AA recommends that a child must always be properly restrained with a car seat or booster seat until the child can safely be secured by the seatbelt. However, the regulation deals with seatbelts in respect of age categories. Road users are broken down into the following categories:
Children are defined as being between the age of 3 to 13, except where the person is taller than 1,5 metres.
An adult is defined as older than 13 or taller than 1,5 metres. If your toddler (or all three sitting on the rear bench) is not strapped in to a child seat, you could face a fine of between R500 and R1 000. If you do put a car seat in the front, remember to turn off the airbag.