Rear seat belts compulsory?

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Rear seat belts compulsory?

Postby Dukeman » Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:12 pm

Are rear seat belts compulsory in NZ?

We have just purchased a Mitsubishi Canter 1984 campervan and it does not have rear seatbelts for passengers.

I went to a testing station and spoke to the people there and they said "NO" but if I fit them they must be certified which make sense but it cost like $300.

He also said the passengers don't have to wear them? We have two young children 5 and 7 and obviously want seat belts for them, the testing station said the best way is to mount my own and then remove them for a COF. Again make sense.

I have worked out away to fit lap belts but I wanted to know are the compulsory for the kids to wear them in the rear of the camper while travelling?

Found this on the AA website.


Regarding a 2002 Toyota high roof, Long Wheel Base van which has been set up as a camper.

It has side benches in the rear to sit on.

Can this van be fitted with seatbelts on the sides at the back?

It is N.Z. new.


Jack says,

Hi Don,

If the vehicle was built as a camper before the 1st of October 2003 and has been continuously registered since then, it will not be required to have seatbelts in the rear.

After that date it will be required to have as many seatbelts as there are seating positions.

For example, a 4 berth campervan will require 4 seating positions with approved seatbelts.

Either way, if you intend to fit seatbelts they are required to be Low Volume certified.

Sideways seating has been something of an issue, so my suggestion is you contact the Low Volume Technical Association ( to ask their opinion.

They will be the ones to certify such an installation if it is permitted.

They will need to know all the vehicle details.

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Re: Rear seat belts compulsory?

Postby chip'n » Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:47 pm

Dukeman, we use to have an Isuzu elf 4 berth cabover which had lap belts on the side facing bench seat behind the drivers seat & bulkhead. We asked the questions & were told if it didn't have seat belts then you dont have to wear them but if it did you did have to. You are not allowed to have lap/diagonal on side facing seats. We would not travel without our girls restrained. I would say that if you don't have them certified then you are fooling yourself & risking your childrens lives , I find it strange the testing station officer advised you to remove them for testing. I may have some spare belts lying around if you need them, they were removed from our Nissan Civilian we are converting.

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Re: Rear seat belts compulsory?

Postby Dukeman » Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:28 am


Thanks for thr reply.

Its good to know what the rules are and you offer good advice.

Yes I would be interested in a couple of sets of seat belts if you have them to sell. I certainly appriciated the offer of purchasing some privately as I was quoted $50 a pair for new ones.

Please let me know the cost and I can arrange to have them picked up or could pay for a courier.


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Re: Rear seat belts compulsory?

Postby chip'n » Thu Nov 18, 2010 6:56 am

I have 3 complete belts, I will e-mail a photo, yours just pay courier fees, pm me your details. Dale

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Re: Rear seat belts compulsory?

Postby willinda » Thu Nov 18, 2010 7:10 am

I have just fitted 2 side facing seat belt attachments to my Nissan Civilian. I did the work and Watson Mechanical in Christchurch did the certification. I consulted with them first to ensure my plan would comply. Total cost $230 incl GST + material cost. Note Heavy Vehicles require certification by a Road Transport Certifying engineer not Low Volume Vehicle as with light vehicles.
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Re: Rear seat belts compulsory?

Postby bazzanz » Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:33 am

If fitting them yourself be aware you need to comply with certain criteria such
as spacing & height of anchor points as well as them being suitably stable.

When enquiring about these conditions I was told a report from an independent
transport engineers approving the proposed installation.

From memory such a report was going to cost in the vicinity of $1000 but found
a "friendly" consultant that gave me a copy of the current requirements & said
he would inspect the installation after it was done then issue a compliance
certificate if it met requirements for a minimal fee.

Was told that any m/home later than 93 ? required approved belts installed
equal in number to the number of berths.

Pre 93? rear belts are not a requirement but if fitted must meet current compliance

May be wrong on this point but seem to remember if not fitted then it is not legal
for passengers to travel in the rear so even if a 6 berth are limited to three travelling
in the cab ( three being the usual number of cab belts )

How they would know if rear belts have been retro fitted is uncertain unless it is
recorded on the cof info but in any event if going to the trouble of fitting them am
sure most would want the assurance that they would work effectively if needed.

Personally I fail to see what purpose lap belts on side facing seats would serve in the
event of front or rear impact ... nevertheless thems the rules.

I have a copy of the compliance conditions here somewhere that I could send you if
I can find them ... but be forewarned they are written in "lawyer language" so need
to wade thru the clauses decide which are applicable then decipher them.

Good luck

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Re: Rear seat belts compulsory?

Postby jimandsue » Thu Nov 18, 2010 7:01 pm

Our 1994 Canter has a set of lap belts on each side of the rear seats (facing sideways). As they are only bolted through the top of the bed base there is no way they could comply (and we don't need them anyway). I am sure they would help in a minor bash but in a major prang no chance.
My understanding is that pre 2003 they are not required and I have never had anyone check for them at COF time. Generally we are only 2 and we have 3 belts in the front for the odd occasion we have an extra passenger.
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Re: Rear seat belts compulsory?

Postby Freda » Thu Nov 18, 2010 7:45 pm

Its all on the LTSA web site
Registered as a motor home pre 2003 needs no belts. But after that and you require seatbelts for the number of berths.
Our bus has been aloud to cart 63 school kids all over the place with some standing... no belts required..
Now that its a motorhome for us and the odd Grandchild, we required certified seatbelts. :o

There are pages and pages of reading with clauses and sub clauses, amendments and sub amendments on the website
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