Fleet News

Legal update: All set for van seatbelt shake-up

At the moment drivers completing deliveries or local rounds do not have to wear seatbelts but this is set to change after industry groups responded to plans for change.

The Department for Transport (DfT) issued its consultation document in August asking industry groups to contribute towards a proposal to amend the current law. It received more than 60 responses from local authorities, police, road safety organisations, trade organisations and the dairy industry all forwarding their ideas on what the maximum distance between stops should be before a seatbelt must be worn.

The DfT then announced that the distance should be 50 metres and is now working towards bringing revised legislation into force in March 2005.

A spokesman from the Government department said: ‘There is no definition of ‘local rounds.’ We understand the aim of this was to exempt only those who needed to make frequent stops while engaged in making local deliveries or collections such as the door-to-door operations of milkmen, postmen and refuse collectors.

‘However, there is a lack of clarity and many van and goods vehicle drivers firmly believe there is a general ‘trade’ exemption which applies to any delivery, over any distance.’

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