Children up to 18 years and less than 1.35 meters must be transported in an approved child car seat. This must be both in the front and in the back of the car. Children taller than 1.35 meters must wear the seat belt in the front and rear of the car. They may use a booster seat if necessary.
Transport rules - according to the law ...
Approved car seats
You may only use child seats that comply with European safety requirements. This concerns the standards ECE 44/03, 44/04 or i-Size.
Child in the front or in the back of the car
You can transport children both in the front and in the back of the car. This makes little difference for safety. However, it is safer to transport children (babies) as long as possible against the direction of travel.
Airbag and child transport
On a seat with an airbag in front of it, you may not carry a child in a car seat that is against the direction of travel. This is allowed if you have deactivated the airbag. You do not have to disable side airbags.
Use seat belts and child seats properly
You must use seat belts and child car seats in the manner prescribed by the manufacturer. That is how they were tested. On the website of VeiligheidNL you can read which car seat fits your child. You can also watch an instruction film about how to safely transport your child in the car.
Belt extender not allowed in child seat
You are not allowed to use a belt extender with a child safety seat, because there is no view on its quality. Is the belt too short? Then you have to have another approved seat belt fitted.
Limited use separate belt guide
A belt guide (belt clip) ensures that the diagonal part of the seat belt does not run over the neck. A belt guide is often part of a booster seat.
There are also separate belt guides for sale. A separate belt guide may only be used by:
- children less than 1.50 meters who are too heavy for a booster seat (36 kilos or heavier);
- adults who are smaller than 1.50 meters.
In all other cases, you may not use a separate belt guide. A separate belt guide may only be attached to the diagonal part of the seat belt. This means that you can never use a belt guide that connects the hip part to the diagonal part.
Exceptions rules transport children
There are exceptions to the rules for the transport of children in a car. For example, children younger than 3 years old do not have to be in a car seat in a taxi or bus. You can also get an exemption if your child can not get into a car seat for medical reasons.
Rules abroad for transport of children
The regulations for the transport of children in the car apply in all countries of the European Union. There may be differences. In some countries, children up to 1.50 meters must use a child car seat. There are also not all exceptions everywhere. For the exact rules, it is best to contact the authorities of the country concerned.
Babies against the direction of driving
Baby car seats for babies up to about 1 year are always against the direction of driving. On a seat with an airbag, babies may only be transported in a baby car seat if the airbag is switched off. The car seat can be beaten backwards by the airbag, something that the baby may not survive. Whether it is possible to switch it off and how to do this is stated in the car's operating instructions or else the garage can help. It is advisable not to put children up to 12 years with an airbag that is switched on. If it is not possible, put the car seat as far back as possible.