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A guide to taking children to school in a taxi

If you’re a taxi driver and you regularly take children to school, then did you know that you are responsible, by law, for the child, right up until care has been handed over to the school? 

Not just when they get out of your cab, you’re entirely responsible for the child’s safety as they leave your vehicle to approach the school gates. 

That means that if the child is involved in an accident between exiting your taxi and going through the school gates then you risk being held liable – legally and financially. 

That’s why additional Public Liability Taxi Insurance is essential if you are, or are planning to, undertake this kind of taxi work. 

Public liability insurance is an important part of any business which involves the public: it protects the business in question from any potential legal action from third parties. 

Your standard taxi insurance won’t protect you from such incidents, but public liability taxi insurance protects you and your business from any unforeseen circumstances in which you could be held liable for another’s well-being.

Children in Taxis

While the law about providing seat belts and child seats in taxis is different from domestic cars, if you carry children in your cab then you do still have a duty of care to ensure that you carry them safely. 

This means that you need to be fit and competent and your vehicle is safe and suitable, your passengers can be transported safely, and journeys are properly planned.

Children should be carried in an appropriate child seat from birth until either they are at least 135cm (4’5”) tall or 12 years old, whichever comes first. They should then use a seat belt if one is fitted, although it would be better for them to continue to use a booster seat until they are 150cm (5’) tall, as is the case in some European countries. 

Child car seats are a very effective way of reducing risk for child car passengers. Children who use an appropriate child car seat are significantly less likely to be killed or injured than children who are unrestrained or only wearing a seat belt. 

Seat belts on their own are less effective for children because they are designed for adults. Due to their smaller size, a child may slide under the lap strap of a seat belt because it is too high over their abdomen, or the diagonal strap might cut cross their neck. Both of these could cause serious injury. This is why it is far better to carry children in approved child seats. 

Do I need to have a car seat fitted in my taxi?

Taxi companies are not required by law to provide child car seats in taxis, private hire vehicles and minicabs, although child passengers must use them if they are provided, as described below. 

If child car seats are not available, but seat belts are fitted, children must wear the seat belts as described below. 

Ensure your seat belts can be used and that the buckle isn’t hidden away. If your seatbelts aren’t in working condition or are hidden away, then you should not be carrying passengers. 

Children under 3 years old in a taxi, private hire vehicle or minicab 

Children under three years old can only travel in the front of a taxi, private hire vehicle or minicab if they are carried in an appropriate child car seat. This will be a rearward-facing baby seat that meets the R44 or R129 safety standards or a forward-facing child seat with an internal harness that meets R44 or R129. 

If an appropriate child seat is not provided, they cannot travel in the front seat, but they can travel in the rear without a child seat or seat belt if they are not available and fitted.  However, this is not a safe choice and should only be done in emergencies. 

It is illegal to carry a baby in a rearward-facing baby seat in the front of a vehicle if there is an active front passenger airbag. The airbag must be deactivated, or the baby seat must be placed in the rear of the taxi, private hire vehicle or minicab. 

Children aged 3 years to their 12th birthday or until they are at least 135cm (approximately 4’5”) tall 

Children aged between 3 and 12 years old (or who are at least 135 cm tall) can travel in the rear of your taxi but they must use an appropriate child seat, if one is available. If one is not available or is not suitable, they must use a seat belt. 

Children aged 12 years and over (or younger children over 135cm tall) 

Children aged 12 years and over (or younger children who are over 135 cm tall) must wear a seat belt if fitted in the taxi, private hire vehicle or minicab. 

It is illegal and dangerous for two people to wear the same seat belt at the same time.

For more information on taxi insurance and public liability taxi insurance, contact us now on 01695 317 950 or drop us a message

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