Guidelines on transporting children in your car
There are numerous debates on social media regarding the use of child car seats in Greece, and many measures prescribed in Serbia are not adhered to in everyday life.
However, when it comes to longer journeys, especially outside our country’s borders, we advise you to be particularly cautious. Not only may you find yourself in a situation where you have to pay a huge fine and lose your driver’s license for a while, but you may also seriously endanger the safety of children.
The current Law in Balkan countries, it is mandatory to transport children in a child car seat until they reach a height of 135cm, while for children older than four years, a booster seat is sufficient, provided that the child can be safely secured with a seatbelt in the car (the diagonal belt must be below the child’s neck) and that there is a built-in headrest where the child is sitting.
Transporting children under 12 years old on the front seat is absolutely prohibited. An exception to this rule is the transportation of a child under three years old, who is seated in a rear-facing child car seat. In this case, the airbags on the passenger seat must be deactivated.
Greek and EU regulations on child car seats
In Greece and other surrounding countries, the legal regulations are mostly aligned with the recommendations set by the European Commission regarding child transportation.
According to these recommendations, children shorter than 135cm and younger than 12 years old should be in appropriate car seats or boosters. For children aged 12 and above with a height of at least 1.35m, a regular seatbelt is sufficient.
Driving with children (up to 3 years old) on the front seat in specially designed rear-facing child car seats is only permitted when the airbag is deactivated. Children up to 3 years old should use child car seats suitable for their weight in all cars and vans, except when riding in the back seat of a taxi.
In Greece, it is prohibited for children older than 3 years and shorter than 150cm to ride on the front seat of a vehicle.
In accordance with Article 12(5) and 33(2) of Law 2696 (Traffic Law), the use of special protective devices, such as child car seats, is mandatory for transporting minors up to 12 years of age. Violators are subject to an administrative fine ranging from 80 to 350 euros and a 10-day suspension of their driver’s license.
Child car seats should comply with ECE Standard 44⁄03 or newer.
What is the ECE Standard 44⁄03?
Regulation 44 of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe specifies safety standards for child car seats. Every seat that has been certified has met the prescribed standards and can be used to protect children in vehicles. Non-certified car seats should not be sold for use in automobiles.
How can you recognize a certified seat?
The certification marks are found on a sticker on the seat, with the letter E enclosed in a circle and a number that indicates the country code that issued the certification.
- Category for which the seat is approved
- Child’s weight for which the seat is approved
- “Y” indicates that the seat has a harness system (in five attachment points)
- The emboldened letter E denotes European approval
- Country code where the approval was issued (1 = Germany, 2 = France, 3 = Italy, 4 = Netherlands, etc.)
- Approval number. The first two digits indicate the version of Regulation ECE R44 for which the seat is approved
- Seat’s serial number
You can view the official website of the Traffic Law and mandatory equipment in cars in Greece here.
We wish you a safe journey!
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