Skip to main content

b. Seat belts

It should be common knowledge to all Hong Kong citizens that all drivers and passengers must wear seat belts. That sounds simple and straight-forward. However, there are different laws governing the installation of seal belts on different seats of a vehicle. Let’s try to simplify the issue as much as we can.

 

As a vehicle owner, you have to make sure that:

 

(a) the driver seat and the front passenger seat are equipped with seat belts unless your vehicle is:

  • a private car manufactured before 30 June 1964;
  • a taxi manufactured before 1 January 1981;
  • a light bus manufactured before 1 January 1984; or
  • a goods vehicle manufactured before 1 January 1989. (regulation 6 of the Road Traffic

(Safety Equipment) Regulations (Cap. 374F of the Laws of Hong Kong))

 

(b) the middle front seat (if there is any) is equipped with seat belt unless your vehicle is registered before 1 June 1996 (regulation 6A of the Road Traffic (Safety Equipment) Regulations (Cap. 374F of the Laws of Hong Kong)).

 

(c) the rear seats are equipped with seat belt unless your vehicle is:

  • a private car or a taxi registered before 1 January 2001; or
  • a public light bus registered before 1 August 2004.

 (regulations 6B and 6C of the Road Traffic (Safety Equipment) Regulations (Cap. 374F of the Laws of Hong Kong))

 

Contravention of any of the above regulations could make a person liable to a fine of $5,000 or imprisonment for 3 months.

 

As a passenger of a private car, taxi, public light bus or goods vehicle, you simply have to wear a seat belt (if any) no matter which seat you are sitting on (regulations 7, 7A and 7B of the Road Traffic (Safety Equipment) Regulations (Cap. 374F of the Laws of Hong Kong)). Contravention of any of these regulations could make a person liable to a fine of $5,000 or imprisonment for 3 months.

 

As the driver of a private car, of course you have to wear a seat belt (if any). You also must also ensure that all passengers on your vehicle are fastened to their seat belts (if any) (regulations 7 and 7B of the Road Traffic (Safety Equipment) Regulations (Cap. 374F of the Laws of Hong Kong)). Contravention of any of these regulations could make a person liable to a fine of $5,000 or imprisonment for 3 months.

 

As the driver of a private light bus or goods vehicle, you of course have to wear a seat belt (if any). You also have to ensure that all passengers on your vehicle are fastened to their seat belts (if any) (regulation 7A of the Road Traffic (Safety Equipment) Regulations (Cap. 374F of the Laws of Hong Kong)). Contravention of this regulation could make a person liable to a fine of $5,000 or imprisonment for 3 months.

 

As the driver of a taxi or a public light bus, you of course have to wear a seat belt (if any). But you do not have a legal duty to ensure that your passengers are fastened to their seat belts.

 

But when we come to buses, the situation is a bit different. The present law only requires that seat belts be installed for the driver seats and that drivers of buses must wear seat belts when driving (regulations 8A and 8B of the Road Traffic (Safety Equipment) Regulations (Cap. 374F of the Laws of Hong Kong)). It is not compulsory for seat belts to be installed for passenger seats of buses; and it is also not compulsory for passengers of buses to wear seat belts.

 

Last revision date: