THE LEGALESE

WOW (Women on Wheels) - - WOW -

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.

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