Do truck drivers need to wear a seatbelt when operating trucks/vehicles inside a company’s premises/yards moving stock, moving trucks and trailers around, etc?
Wearing a seatbelt in terms of the NRTA is only required on public roads.
“2.4 Provisions on seatbelts in terms of the National Road Traffic Regulations, 2000
Regulation 213 of the National Road Traffic Regulations
The National Road Traffic Regulations contain the requirements for the fitment as well as the wearing of a seatbelt. The regulation refers to SANS specifications in terms of regulation 216 where the provisions of the compulsory motor vehicle specifications are included. Freight vehicles are covered by the SANS specifications listed below regulation 216.
Reg 213. (1) For the purpose of this regulation—
(a) an adult is a person over the age of 14 years or taller than one comma five metres;
(b) 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;
(c) an infant is a person below the age of three years.
(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.
(b) 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.
(c) No person shall operate a motor vehicle on a public road unless the seatbelts fitted to such motor vehicle are in good working order.
(d) 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.
(e) In addition to the requirements of paragraph (a), no person shall operate a minibus or midibus, first registered after 04 September 2006, operating in terms of an operating licence, unless seatbelts are fitted for every seat in the motor vehicle.
(f) the belt configuration for a seat in the rear of a motor vehicle shall be a 2-point belt or a 3-point belt, with anchorages in accordance with SANS 1430: Anchorages for restraining devices in motor vehicles”, and installed in accordance with SANS ” 10168: Installation of safety devices (Safety belts in motor vehicles).
(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—
(a) where it is available in the motor vehicle, uses an appropriate child restraint; or
(b) if no child restraint is available, wears the seatbelt if an unoccupied seat which is fitted with a seatbelt is available.
(6A) The driver of a motor vehicle operated on a public road shall ensure that an infant traveling in such a motor vehicle is seated on an appropriate child restraint: Provided that this provision shall not apply in a case of a minibus, midibus or bus operating for reward. (Reg 213 (6A) in force as from 30 April 2015.)
(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.
(11) The driver of a motor vehicle shall ensure that all persons travelling in such motor vehicle shall wear a seat belt as contemplated in this regulation.
Motor vehicles operated on public road to comply with compulsory vehicle specifications
Reg 216. (1) A motor car, mini bus, bus or goods vehicle fitted with at least four wheels, or a trailer, operated on a public road, shall comply with the relevant requirements as specified in the Government Notices issued in terms of section 22 of the Standards Act, 1993 (Act No. 29 of 1993) and listed in Annex A to code of practice SABS 047: “The testing of motor vehicles for roadworthiness”.
(2) No person shall operate on a public road a motor vehicle unless all the equipment required to be on such motor vehicle in terms of subregulation (1), is fitted to such vehicle and in good working order.
(3) Notwithstanding anything pertaining to the extent of the application of the requirements referred to in subregulation (1), any motor vehicle design or any design of a motor vehicle modification submitted to the inspectorate of manufacturers, builders and importers in terms of regulation 43, shall comply with the requirements relevant to such motor vehicle design or any design of a motor vehicle modification.
VC 8025 lists the Compulsory motor vehicle specifications. The reference to seat belts are to SANS 1429.
Seatbelts are not compulsory on Category N2/N3 vehicles. N2 vehicles are heavy goods vehicles over 3 500 kg GVM up to 12 000 GVN. N3 vehicles are heavy goods vehicles over 12 000 kg GVM.
SANS 1429 only requires seat belts for goods vehicles up to 3 500 kg.
If a truck is fitted with a seatbelt, regulation 213 makes it compulsory for the person who occupies such a seat to wear the seatbelt.