When children wish to travel in the front, when the moment has arrived that they want to do more than watch from the back seat and sit in the front with you, then there are safety factors that must be considered.
Since the most dangerous seat in the car is that not equipped with any safety restraining devices for children we shall explain how to travel in safety.
The age to travel in the front seat and other DGT regulations
In the General Traffic Regulations, regarding the transport of children in the front seat, the following rules are applied:
With respect to the front seats of a vehicle: It is completely illegal to travel with a child under 12 years of age on the front seat unless using approved child safety devices.
In exceptional circumstances, when a child’s height is over 135cms it is able to use the adult seatbelt as supplied in the vehicle.
Children cannot use a backward facing child restraining system unless the front passenger airbag has been deactivated.
Some time ago the DGT made a proposal included in draft reform of the regulations, prohibiting children under 135cms from travelling in the front seat with or without a child restraining system and the vehicle has space in the back. Important: as from today. 4th July 2014, this is a proposal only at this stage.
Be wary of distractions
It is true to say that there are differences of opinion about this, but the general feeling is that if you are travelling alone with a baby on the back seat, even having taken every safety precaution, being on your own it is easy to be distracted by the baby attracting our attention and so can be difficult.
If we follow the rules and there is only one person in the vehicle apart from a baby in a backward facing seat, we can carry it in the front of the vehicle but only having first deactivated the airbag. This makes it easier to keep an eye on the baby.
For these reasons, we at MAPFRE FOUNDATION advise you to always use whatever is necessary for transporting children since their safety comes first.
We will keep an eye on the situation regarding the DGT proposal and will keep you informed.