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One in five taxi drivers DO NOT wear a seat belt reveals Government data

One in five taxi drivers do not belt up whilst driving, new official Government statistics reveal.

Recent data from 2023 highlights a significant divergence in seatbelt usage among different vehicle types in England. Cars have the highest rate of compliance, with a mere 0.9% of drivers not wearing seatbelts. In stark contrast, taxis and private hire vehicles exhibit notably lower compliance, with non-wearing rates of 19.5% and 22.4%, respectively. A similar pattern is observed in Scotland, as evidenced by corresponding data tables.

The disparity in seatbelt use can be largely attributed to specific legal exemptions. In Great Britain, while it is mandatory for drivers and passengers in cars, vans, and other goods vehicles to wear seatbelts if fitted, taxi and private hire vehicle drivers are granted certain exemptions.

Specifically, licensed taxi drivers are not required to wear a seatbelt while seeking hire, responding to a call for hire, or carrying a passenger for hire. Similarly, private hire vehicle drivers are exempt from wearing a seatbelt when transporting a passenger for hire. These exemptions aim to enhance the drivers' mobility and safety, allowing quick exits in potentially hazardous situations.

The compulsory use of seatbelts for drivers and front seat passengers in cars was introduced in January 1983. This mandate was extended to rear seat passengers, with children being required to use seatbelts from 1989 and adults from 1991. These regulations have significantly contributed to road safety, reducing fatalities and serious injuries in road traffic accidents.

However, the exemptions for taxi and private hire drivers could spark fresh debate. The lower seatbelt use in these vehicle categories raises questions about the balance between driver safety and operational convenience.


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