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Seat Belts in Ireland

seat belts

The law in Ireland states that as a driver, you are required to wear a seat belt if fitted unless you qualify for a medical exemption and have the certificate to prove it. In addition, you must ensure that all passengers wear seat belts while children under 17 are appropriately restrained.

Fines and penalty points

You will receive a fixed-charge fine of €60 for not wearing a seat belt. Ensure to pay this fine within 28 days, or you could face an increased fine of €90 payable within 56 days of the offence. In addition, two penalty points can be added to your licence if you choose to pay the fine and not show up to court. Four penalty points will be added to your licence and you could face a hefty a fine of €2,000 if you get convicted in court for not wearing a seat belt.

Use of seat belts and child restraints

  • Driver: A seat belt must be worn.
  • Passenger vehicles that accommodate fewer than 8 people: Must wear seat belts at all times
  • Passenger vehicles that accommodate more than 8 passengers: Seat belts must be worn.
  • Children aged under 3: Child restraint must be used.
  • Children aged 3-17: An appropriate child restraint or a safety belt must be used.
  • Cars first registered in Ireland since 1 June 1971: Must have seat belts fitted on front seats.
  • Cars first registered since 1992: Required to have seat belts fitted on rear seats.

According to Citizens Information, an exemption to wear a seat belt may apply under the following circumstances:

  1. If you are sitting on a seat that is not fitted with a safety belt.
  2. If you are teaching someone else how to drive (although going without a safety belt may not be advisable).
  3. If you are a driving test examiner conducting a driving test.
  4. If you are a member of An Garda Síochána or the Defence Forces and are driving as part of your duties.
  5. If you have a medical certificate signed by a qualified medical practitioner stating it is inadvisable on medical grounds you wear a safety belt or child restraint.

For other driving tips in Ireland, click here.


Enforcement of seat belt regulations

The Gardaí (police) are permitted by Irish law to enforce seat belt regulations. Unless you are exempted under the law, it is a statutory offence not to wear a seat belt or fail to use an age-appropriate child restraint if there is one available in the vehicle.