Buckle up


What does the legislation in South Africa stipulate about wearing seatbelts?


National Road Traffic Act

Regulation 213 (1)

For the purpose of this regulation–

1. an adult is a person over the age of 14 years or taller than one comma five metres; and
2. a child is a person between the age of three years and 14 years, except where such person is taller than one comma five metres.

(2) Any reference to a safety belt in these regulations shall be construed as a reference to a seat belt.

(3) (a) Motor vehicles which are required to be fitted with seatbelts in terms of the relevant requirements as contemplated in regulation 216, shall be fitted with seatbelts in accordance therewith.

2. In addition to the requirements of paragraph (a), no person shall operate a minibus the gross vehicle mass of which exceeds 2 500 kg, unless seatbelts are fitted to the space on the front seat occupied by the driver, and if such front seat has seating accommodation for passengers, unless seatbelts are fitted for the driver and at least one passenger.
3. No person shall operate a motor vehicle on a public road unless the seatbelts fitted to such motor vehicle are in good working order.
4. Seatbelts fitted to a motor vehicle may only be removed for repair or replacement purposes and such motor vehicle may not be used on a public road while such seatbelts are being repaired or replaced.

(4) No adult shall occupy a seat in a motor vehicle operated on a public road which is fitted with a seatbelt unless such person wears such seatbelt: Provided that the provisions of this regulation do not apply while reversing or moving in or out of a parking bay or area.

(5) No adult shall occupy a seat on a row of seats in a motor vehicle operated on a public road which is not fitted with a seatbelt, unless all other seats on such row which are fitted with seatbelts, are already occupied.

(6) The driver of a motor vehicle operated on a public road shall ensure that a child seated on a seat of the motor vehicle–

1. where it is available in the motor vehicle, uses an appropriate child restraint; or
2. if no child restraint is available, wears the seatbelt if an unoccupied seat which is fitted with a seatbelt is available.

(7) If no seat, equipped with a seatbelt is available in a motor vehicle the driver of the motor vehicle operated on a public road shall ensure that a child shall, if such motor vehicle is equipped with a rear seat, be seated on such rear seat.

(8) (a) A seatbelt shall comply with the standard specification SABS 1080 “Restraining devices for occupants of adult build in motor vehicles (Revised requirements)” and bear a certification mark or approval mark.

(b) A child restraint shall comply with the standard specification SABS 1340 “Child restraining devices in motor vehicles” and bear a certification mark or approval mark.

(9) The MEC may exempt a person from the provisions of this regulation on such medical grounds and under such conditions he or she may deem expedient

(10) An exemption from wearing a seatbelt in a prescribed territory shall be deemed to be an exemption in terms of subregulation (9) for the period of validity thereof.

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12 thoughts on “What is the South African law on seatbelts?

  1. David

    May two passengers occupy one seat and share the seatbelt?

  2. Trevor Sheedy

    Where can we have seat belts fitted to the passenger part of a 1999 Hi-Ace?

  3. Geoff Rein

    I need to know the following before I take my vehicle for a road worthy test:-
    1.) Are “lap” type seat belts acceptable in road vehicles i.e. two point type belts?
    2.) Is it a requirement to have a Roll Bar on a convertible vehicle?

  4. Colleen

    I have an old VW Beetle which originally does not come fitted with seat belts at the back. Is it a requirement?


    How old must a child be before they may sit in the front seat with a seat belt?

  6. William

    Received a fine of two hundred rand for driving a municipal bus not wearing a seatbelt, are buses not exempted from seat belts?

  7. Shonit Rajkumar


    Do vehicles mass exceeding 3000kg have to have seat belts in the cabin area?


  9. Where in Cape Town can you have rear seat belts fitted to older cars?


    kINDLY ADVISE THE LEGAL REQUIREMEMNTS FOR SAFETY BELTS IN TRUCKS . We have old trucks that were not issued with safety belts . Two of our vehicles have been issued traffic fines . Your urgent response would be appreciated.

    Regards J. Rohrs transport clerk – FFS Evander

  11. Jeremy Broadley

    Where in cape town can i have seatbelts fitted to a 1960’s karmann Ghia?

  12. alex

    Where in the cape town (northern suburbs) can I have seatbelts fitted to back of a car, thanks

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