Do Taxi Drivers Have to Wear Seat Belts in the United Kingdom?

Do you know that taxi drivers who carry passengers or ‘ply for hire’ aren’t legally required to wear seatbelts in the UK? Confused right? Taxi drivers are not allowed to wear seat belts under British law for their own safety.

The goal is usually to prevent robberies in most cases. However, wearing a belt also makes it difficult for drivers to escape dangerous riders quickly. Drivers who wear seatbelts are more likely to be assaulted. British law forbids all licensed taxi drivers from wearing a seat belt if they are carrying any passengers. Taxi passengers, however, are not subjected to the same rule and must always wear a seatbelt

Do Taxi Drivers Have to Wear Seat Belts in the United Kingdom

What are the Exceptions for not Wearing a Seatbelt?

Seat belts are not required under the following conditions:

  • Reversing supervisory learner or driver.
  • A vehicle used for rescue, police, or fire services.
  • Taxi drivers who carry passengers for hire or who are licensed.
  • An investigation of a passenger-carrying trade vehicle.

Why is a seatbelt important for the passengers?

What happens if you don’t wear your seatbelt? In a crash. The seatbelt is important for passengers because it reduces the risk of an intense injury by 45% to 50%. The seatbelts protect the vital organs in the body from the high damage in case of a vehicle crash. If an accident happens the seat belts keep the passenger in their seat and reduce the speed of their body at the same place. Thus protecting the vital organs from harm.

The Penalty for Not Wearing a Seatbelt in the UK

Passenger safety laws prohibit the use of mobile phones while driving and require the use of seatbelts. If a passenger does not wear a seatbelt, he or she will be taken to court. The penalty ranges from £100 to £500. Child passengers who do not wear car seats for children are subject to the same fines as their drivers.


Under British law, taxi drivers are not supposed to wear seat belts since there have been many cases of robberies and damages caused by wearing seat belts. A taxi driver who doesn’t wear a seat belt is less likely to be robbed since they can easily escape. Assaults against drivers who wear seatbelts are more likely to occur.

It is for this reason that the British government restricts taxi drivers from wearing seat belts. In contrast, passengers are now required to wear seat belts for their safety. The fines for not wearing a seat belt for the passenger range from £100 to £500.