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Why do 4-berth motorhomes only have two seatbelts?

Have you ever noticed that 4-berth motorhomes only have two seat belts in the front cab area? This arrangement might seem odd since a 4-berth motorhome can accommodate up to four people. If you’re unsure why this is, don’t worry: Melling Motorhomes is here to help. Today, we’ll take you through why 4-berth motorhomes only have two seatbelts and run you through the UK’s laws surrounding motorhome safety.

Can you Walk Around a Motorhome While Driving?

Let’s clear up one of the most frequently asked questions surrounding motorhomes and seat belts: no, it is not safe or legal to walk around a motorhome while it’s in motion.

All passengers should be seated and wearing secure seat belts while the vehicle is in motion. The designated driver is responsible for ensuring all passengers sit with properly fastened seat belts. Walking around or standing in a moving motorhome could distract the driver and cause a traffic accident. 

Before embarking on a motorhome holiday, you and all your passengers should be aware of the risks associated with motorhome travel and should follow all safety guidelines and regulations. If passengers need to move around the motorhome while it is parked, they should do so safely and cautiously

When the motorhome is in motion, passengers should remain seated and avoid any unnecessary movements that could compromise their safety or the safety of others in the vehicle.

Can Passengers Travel in a Motorhome Without Seatbelts in the UK?

No, passengers cannot travel in a motorhome without seat belts.

Doing so is not only illegal, but it’s dangerous. If you are driving with passengers who aren’t wearing seat belts, you can face fines of up to £500 per person. In addition to the fine, you could also face penalty points on your driving licence.

Understanding Seat Belt Laws in the UK

That’s why, according to UK law, every passenger in a motor vehicle must wear a seat belt where one is available.

All drivers of 4-berth motorhomes must follow this rule, no matter the size or purpose of the motorhome. However, 4-berth motorhomes manufactured before 2006 are exempt from this requirement due to a regulation change that took effect on 20 October 2007.

If your motorhome was manufactured after 2006

The new law required all new M1 passenger vehicles to have seat belts fitted for each designated seat. M1s are vehicles designed and constructed for the carriage of passengers and comprise no more than eight seats in addition to the driver’s seat. 

However, 4-berth motorhomes manufactured before this date are not required to have seat belts fitted for passengers by law. Instead, the vehicle’s driver must identify the designated travel seats, and all passengers must sit in them while driving the motorhome. 

Only the driver and those in the specific passenger seats must wear three-point seatbelts, with any other designated travelling seats requiring 2-point seat belts. 

At Melling Motorhomes, all our vehicles, including our 4-berth motorhomes, have three-point seatbelts that passengers must use when the motorhome is in motion.

However, you might ask: ‘do side-facing seats have seat belts?’ Many motorhomes in the Melling Motorhomes range feature forward-facing, rear-facing and side-facing seats to maximise space and create multiple seating areas for travellers. 

As these seats are specific to motorhomes and campervans, in what way do the rules apply?

Do You Need Seat Belts and Side-Facing Seats in a Motorhome in the UK?

Yes, according to UK law, all passengers in a motorhome must wear a seat belt, regardless of the seating arrangement. If a motorhome has side-facing seats, seat belts must be fitted for these seats too.

However, it is worth noting that some older motorhomes don’t have seat belts for side-facing seats, as the laws requiring seat belts for all motorhome passengers only came into effect in 2007. 

If this is the case, we recommend that passengers avoid using the side-facing seats whilst the vehicle is in motion or take other precautions to ensure their safety while travelling.

Ultimately, it is vital to ensure that all passengers in a motorhome can travel safely and securely, regardless of the seating arrangement: this means ensuring that seat belts are fitted and used and that passengers are aware of the risks associated with travelling in a motorhome.

Choose Melling Motorhomes for your next holiday adventure!

Now that you have all the essential motorhome safety information, are you ready to hit the open road? Explore the great outdoors like never before with Melling Motorhomes, your one-stop shop for premium motorhome rentals.

With our fleet of fully-equipped and comfortable 2-berth, 4-berth, 5-berth and 6-berth motorhomes, you can enjoy the freedom and flexibility of travelling wherever your heart desires. Move from forests to remote beaches, bustling cities to quaint towns, and experience the endless possibilities of motorhome travel. 

But don’t wait to book your rental: our motorhomes are in high demand with limited availability. Contact us today to reserve your spot and embark on the adventure of a lifetime!