Middle Seat Belt, Early Cars (Lack Of)

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Hell Driver
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Middle Seat Belt, Early Cars (Lack Of)

Post by Hell Driver » 27 Apr 2016 11:13 pm

Is the 343 (with only 4 seat belts) a 4/5 seat car legally? I mean, if there is no centre lap belt, as with early cars, I assume that even today you can carry 3 in the back without getting done for the middle passenger not having a seat belt (as non was fitted but it is a 5 seater). Back in the 1990's at college I sometimes had a car full and of course there was no centre belt, I always assumed that this was, although potentially dangerous, totally legal. I would assume that today this is still the case, in a 343 (but not in modern 4 seater with no centre belt).
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trabitom99
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Re: Middle Seat Belt, Early Cars (Lack Of)

Post by trabitom99 » 30 Apr 2016 07:55 am

If the car came on the market as a five seater, than it remains a five seater. There's no law making you retro-fit seat belts as far as I know ...

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Tom
343 GL Touring B14.1E CVT (155) 98000kms 1980 (sold)
343 L Junior B14.3E MT4 (155) 229000kms 1981 (scrapped)
343 DLS B19A MT4 (155) 167900kms 1982
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Re: Middle Seat Belt, Early Cars (Lack Of)

Post by volvomania » 02 May 2016 07:24 am

Morning, the holes for the middle belt should be already in the floorpan.
They are probably plugged and you may not be loking in the correct place.
I am in the middle of scrapping an '88 340 (dumped last year on my drive by a Volvo dealer who found it in his boneyard.....) and before everyone cries foul, it suffered a head on collision....
I have added a couple of pics that will allow you to look in the correct places.+

Image

Image

These belts are tucked away for them who need them....
Life is a journey, so sit back and enjoy the ride!

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Re: Middle Seat Belt, Early Cars (Lack Of)

Post by bogbasic » 02 May 2016 02:22 pm

I was looking at the law because I gave a lift to someone who refused to wear the rear belt on the basis that she was over 16 (now then, now then, how's about that then?). As far as I can tell from the web anyone 14 or over on the back seat is legally responsible for fitting their belt (not the driver) but only if there is a belt... But that's enough legalling it up...
1988 340 1.4 GL, 218k, 5 door (Grey Bess). Gone to CBA.
1991 340 1.7 GL, 64k, 5 door, petrol blue (Deep Blue).
1988 360 2.0 GLE, 140k, 5 door, ocean blue metallic (Blue Bess).
1989 340 1.7 GL, 108k, 3 door (Red Ness).
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Re: Middle Seat Belt, Early Cars (Lack Of)

Post by MCHUDD » 03 May 2016 12:09 pm

Hi all.
My two do not have middle belts and are quite legal.
Cheers Mark.
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macplaxton
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Re: Middle Seat Belt, Early Cars (Lack Of)

Post by macplaxton » 03 May 2016 05:53 pm

A 343/5 with two outer lap/diagonal belts is a 5 seater.

Under seat belt regs, if a belt isn't available, it's not an offence. When there is one or two in the back then the belts must be used (either/or/both outer ones fitted), but if there are three people, then the one in the middle is okay as both outers are in use. The issue is that middle person can't be under three years old.

If you have an older car like my Citroen, which has no belts at all in the rear, then provided everyone is over 3, then they can travel in proper 1970s fashion sans belts.

If you have something old with a front bench seat, it probably originally came with just a driver's belt and a front outer passenger. The middle person doesn't need a belt if one isn't there. It doesn't lose that seat.

Anyway, your assumption is correct, providing that middle rear seat passenger is over 3.
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Hell Driver
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Re: Middle Seat Belt, Early Cars (Lack Of)

Post by Hell Driver » 07 May 2016 11:39 pm

Thanks for the replies, I doubt the very early cars have the holes for the centre lap belt at all, plugged or unplugged, although I'll have a look at my 1980 car. It's not a big issue, as I can't see that I'll have a car full any time soon :lol: . I was just wondering what the situation is. All modern 5 seat cars must by now have 3 belts across the back then, and if it's a 4 seat car then 5 would be illegal anyway as it's technically overloaded.
360 GLE Saloon (D 86)
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Re: Middle Seat Belt, Early Cars (Lack Of)

Post by S10NPH » 12 May 2016 10:31 pm

None of my cars have centre belts. I do remember my mother's 1987 340 did have though.

My 1977 car doesn't have rear belts at all, as it's a Dutch import, I'm fairly sure that British ones did have them fitted: is that right HellDriver? I've yet to be brave and carry anyone in the back!

Even my 1982 245 doesn't have a centre belt.
1977 Volvo 343 DL 1.4 Vario TUJ 247R
1980 Volvo 345 DL 1.4 PGH 590V
1981 Volvo 345 DL 1.4 ECR 312W
1985 Volvo 340 DL 1.4 Vario B168 DTU
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Hell Driver
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Re: Middle Seat Belt, Early Cars (Lack Of)

Post by Hell Driver » 15 May 2016 11:45 pm

No, my 77 car didn't have one, and I don't think the 1980 car has either, that was why I was asking about it, to find out if it's legal now to carry 5 in an early 343 with only 4 belts. I think we concluded that it is as it was constructed to carry 5 people, even with only 4 belts. (the 5th person sat in what we used to call the suicide seat). I expect a modern day traffic cop would take a dim view but be unable to issue a ticket just as a 1950's car can be driven without any seatbelts at all. I'm not proposing to test this out on the road and would not really feel happy about someone sitting there anyway but it's handy to know the legal status just in case. Come to think about it, I don't think the 1983 or 1984 car has centre belts either. We used the 740 (yes, I have bought yet another Volvo! ) the other day to carry 5, Jack was in the lap belt.
360 GLE Saloon (D 86)
360 GLS (A 84)
343 DL (W 80) :-)
340 GL 1.7 (G 89)
360 GLS (Y 83)
440 Turbo (J 92)
Transit Tipper 125 T350 (02)Alive Again!
Transit Tipper Smiley face Q reg
Mitsubishi Colt 1.1 (54)
R.I.P. 77 343 DL vario :-(

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