Taxi drivers and the drivers of private hire vehicles may or may not be aware of the law relating to them wearing or not wearing seat belts in their vehicles so we thought you may find it of interest to find out what the situation is.

Apparently, according to regulations issued way back in 1993, both licensed taxi drivers and private hire drivers are exempt from wearing seat belts whilst carrying a passenger for hire. A licensed taxi driver need not wear a seat belt whilst on the way to pick up a passenger or whilst the vehicle is being used for seeking hire.

So, why were such regulations put in place that are different for most people driving their own vehicles? Well, apparently, it was felt that if a taxi driver were wearing a seat belt he or she was more likely to be exposed to physical assault or being robbed.

Obviously, a licensed taxi driver or the driver of a private hire vehicle is quite at liberty to wear a seat belt in such situations if he or she wants to do so. After all, he or she may feel that the potential safety that the wearing of a seat belt provides while driving around in their taxi or private hire vehicle in the event of being involved in a road traffic accident far outweighs the risk of being robbed or assaulted while wearing a seat belt.

There will no doubt be many taxi drivers and drivers of private hire vehicles who prefer to wear a seat belt at all times as they feel a seat belt potentially provides a benefit in the event of being involved in a road traffic accident i.e. prevents him or her being thrown through the windscreen of the vehicle upon collision with a moving or stationery object. Ultimately, such a decision no doubt rests with the driver of the vehicle.