Parents could face £500 fine by making school run mistake

Parents could be hit with a £500 fine on the school run as children return to classrooms after the summer holidays, according to experts.

Driving laws state mums and dads must make sure their children are wearing seatbelts at all times while travelling in a vehicle.

Experts at road safety technology firm Snooper claim youngsters can be tempted to undo their seat belts during journeys which could put drivers at risk.

As well as road safety concerns, parents could also be liable to pay heavy fees if caught by police officers.

Road users are completely responsible for any child up to the age of 14 and may be slapped with a staggering £500 fine if a case goes to court.

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Motorists are also responsible for any passengers over the age of 14 who are not wearing a seatbelt. However, fees are expected to be a bit lower with a £100 on-the-spot fine likely to be issued.

Gary Digva, founder of Snooper has urged parents to discuss the safety implications of seatbelts with their young children ahead of term.

Motorists have also been urged to pull over immediately if they notice their son or daughter is not secure.

He explained: “It is essential that parents be extra cautious when driving with children because they are known to go through phases of clicking and releasing their seatbelts.

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“Never start the car engine until children, and everyone, including the driver, is securely buckled in.

“Parents should explain to their kids how important seatbelts are to their safety and warn them that there can be severe consequences if they remove them.

“Consider taking some toys, a book or an electronic device in the car to keep them distracted, but if that is not working, another adult should remain in the back seat to stop them from releasing them.

“Should a child undo the fastening, the driver should pull over as soon as it is safe and repeat how important seatbelts are to keep them safe.

“Under no circumstances should a driver ever let anyone in the car travel without being strapped in because not only is it illegal, but it could also end in serious injury or death.”

Snooper also reminds motorists they must ensure children are using an appropriate car seat until they are either 135cm tall or 12 years old.

Most schools open from today (Monday September 4) with many going back from September 5.

Pupils in Scotland returned to school on August 16 while Northern Ireland opened their doors on September 1.

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