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A horsebox company is offering seatbelts in the living of its lorries over 7.5tonne, a move that clears up a legal grey area.

According to the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency’s (VOSA) recent horsebox safety booklet, it is not specifically against the law to travel in the living area of your horsebox without a seatbelt.

But it is illegal for passengers to be carried in a vehicle “in a manner where danger is caused or is likely to be caused to them”.

And by law children aged under 12 must be seated in appropriate restraints, on a seat that faces forwards or backwards, with a three-point seatbelt.

Now Equi-Trek is offering train-style seats with seatbelts in the living area of its boxes and is, as far as H&H can ascertain, the only company to do so.

Vicky Motley of Equi-Trek said: “We were getting more and more questions about them. I think it’s because a lot of children do travel in the back of wagons and the police seem to be pulling over more boxes.”

The seats face each other with a table in between and can be converted into a settee when the box is stationary. They cost £1,995 plus vat for two seats.

H&H reader Alison Kendall said: “My husband Ed sometimes travels in the living [area] of the box – if the whole family is going to a show.

“My two children sit in the front with me in their booster seats and Ed sits in the back.”

The Equi-Trek seats were a good idea but a little expensive, she added.

Jon Phillips, of the Organisation of Horsebox and Trailer Owners, said: “This is a brave move and Equi-Trek may have hit on an important point.

“No matter how grey the law is for adults, children aged under three cannot be carried on the front seat of a vehicle – they must be in the back in their child seat.”

This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (29 March 2012)

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