Clarification on horsebox living area seatbelts.
The law states that seats in the living area of a horsebox, before October 2007 did not need seatbelts and it was quite legal to carry unrestrained passengers whilst in transit, as long as the horsebox was not overweight and had access from the cab to the living area.
EU Directive 2005/40/EC on the fitting of seat belts states that from 20 October 2007 new vehicles have to have seat belts fitted on all seats except those seats intended solely for use when the vehicle is stationary.
There is specific legislation relating to the carrying of children onboard goods vehicles and by law, children must wear the correct restraint whilst the horsebox is in transit. Up to 3 years old children cannot therefore travel in a horsebox without seatbelts.
New legislation to the seat belt wearing directive in May 2009 prevents more passengers being carried than there are seat belts for in the living area.
An easy fix for horseboxes with two single seats in the cab is to fit a certified double passenger seat with belts; this allows three people to travel legally in the cab. It is not legal to buy aftermarket seatbelts to fit to old seats in the living as most seats are manufactured in wood or wood derivatives and therefore clearly not strong enough in the event of an accident. The seats must be certified to be legal and that includes the seat, seat frame, seat belts and seat anchoring bolts. The anchorage points must be steel or aluminium and part of the subframe.
Options to carry further passengers
We have been working towards a solution for horsebox living area seatbelts to legally carry passengers and I am pleased to say we now offer seating options for up to 6 people with full certification for some (not all) horsebox living areas. We do have to inspect the anchorage points and in most cases manufacture new ones, we may also have to remove or alter the existing living seating. Pricing will vary depending on the construction of the horsebox, the layout of the existing seating and what is actually fitted under the seats.