Can I take 4 children in child seats in my car? What do the regulations say in this regard? When it comes to traveling with children such doubts may arise, especially if we are not used to this or have just become a large family. Let's see what the regulations say with regard to this and we'll show you the different alternatives.
HOW MANY PASSENGERS CAN TRAVEL IN A CAR?
The Traffic Code is very clear on this: the number of people who can be transported in a vehicle may not exceed the number authorized. That means that if a vehicle has 5 seats, it can only take 4 children. If we are traveling in a 7-seater minivan, we can only take 6 children.
However, it doesn't only depend on the regulations concerning the number of occupants. We also need to take into account the number of child restraint systems the car is fitted with and whether we can put a child in the front seat.
Of course, it is totally forbidden for anyone to travel in a seat other than one, which is for their use and conditioned for them in the vehicle
HOW SHOULD CHILDREN TRAVEL?
Just like adults must the seal belt regardless of whether they are seating, children who are 135 centimeters tall or less should use a child restraint system. In the article ‘How will you be affected by the new regulations concerning the placement of your child seat’ we will detail the changes regarding how children should travel.
According to prevailing legislation in Spain, regarding the use of child seats in vehicles, once a child is more than 1.35-meters tall, he or she can travel using either a seat belt or child restraint system (CRS). In order to prevent the belt from not fitting properly based on the height of the neck, many parents choose to use a booster seat that allows them to gain those extra missing centimeters before the child's next growth spurt.
We would like to remind you that we always refer to vehicles with up to 9 seats, including the driver, which means 8 passengers. All children should be placed in the back seats. They may go in the front seat with the corresponding child seat if all the back seats are also occupied by children in child seats or where it is not possible to place the CRS in the back (these are some of the exceptions).
FACTORS TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT:
- In the first place, it should be pointed out that a lot depends on the type of child seat. For example, where we have to put a child in the front passenger seat, we can only do this with the restraint system facing backward and always with the airbag deactivated. It's not the same to travel with child seats from Group 0, Group 0+, Group 1 or Group 2 as with those of Group 3 (we should remind you of the importance of booster seats or cushions).
- You need to check that the middle seat in the rear allows a child seat to be installed. Many do not offer this possibility as they do not have an Isofix system and do not offer any other option.
- Everything depends on the number of places. Where minivans are concerned, we can place CRSs on the available seats which do not have contact with each other and where the seat can be correctly placed as well as having the required anchoring system.
POSSIBLE OPTIONS IN CARS WITH 5 SEATS:
- Four child seats:We would be talking about a very large vehicle. Sufficient room enabling the child seats to be installed without touching each other. It is very unlikely that this is the case because of the dimensions of the child seats. It can't be installed in the front seat facing backward if the airbag cannot be activated and reverse gear engaged.
- Tow child seats in back and a booster seat in the back, plus another CRS in the front: we can have the same problem as with four baby seats, that there is contact between them and they can only be fitted in a very large minivan type vehicle, and we always have to remember what the regulations say about fitting restraint systems in the front seat.
- Two child seats in the back and one in front: this is probably the only option available if we're talking about a small car and the middle seat does not have room for fitting child restraint systems. In any case, we should take into account that they can only go in front, if the back seats are occupied by child seats, -deactivating the airbag and facing backward in the case of a CRS.
WHY SHOULD WE NOT TRAVEL WITH MORE CHILDREN THAN THOSE PERMITTED?
Don't forget that traveling in a vehicle with too many passengers is a serious offense. Specifically, it is not permitted to increase the number of authorized seats by 50 percent. In this case, your vehicle may be immobilized until the cause for the offense is corrected.
And if I have some with a child seat and others with a seat belt? You should take into account that, apart from being less protected than the children using a child restraint system, the lack of installation of these systems together with their non-usage is considered to be a serious or very serious offense, leading to the immobilization of the vehicle and the loss of 3 points but above all, the most important of all is the child will be less safe.