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IP/08/160

Brussels, 31st January 2008

Compulsory use of safety belts and child-restraint systems: Commission sends reasoned opinion to the United Kingdom

The European Commission has decided today to send a reasoned opinion to the United Kingdom for failure to transpose the Directive on the compulsory use of safety belts and child-restraint systems in vehicles in Gibraltar, and to notify its implementing measures. This Directive was adopted to increase safety for road users and especially for children.

Directive 2003/20/EEC relating to the compulsory use of safety belts and child-restraint systems in vehicles had to be transposed into national law by 9 May 2006. As the United Kingdom failed to comply with the Directive in Gibraltar, the Commission sent it a letter of formal notice on 11 July 2006.

The Directive makes it compulsory for all passengers, including children to wear safety belts, except in public service vehicles. Furthermore it was made compulsory to use child restraints on seats fitted with safety belts without specifying the type of child-restraint.

Failure to wear seatbelts is one of the three major causes of road transport fatalities in the European Union.


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