On 4 November 2009, former NSW Premier Nathan Rees and Minister for Transport vid Campbell announced the introduction of new child restraint laws for children up to seven years of age.
Summary of changes From 1 March 2010:
Children younger than six months must be secured in a rearward facing restraint.
Children aged six months to under four years must be secured in either a rear or forward facing restraint.
Children aged four years to under seven years must be secured in forward facing child restraint or booster seat.
Children younger than four years cannot travel in the front seat of a vehicle with two or more rows.
Children aged four years to under seven years cannot travel in the front seat of a vehicle with two or more rows, unless all other back seats are occupied by children younger than seven years in a child restraint or booster seat.
A transitional period will apply until 30 June 2010 to allow parents and carers to fully understand and comply with the new laws.
The transitional period does not provide an exemption for the new requirements regarding seating young children in the front seat.
Drivers will need to ensure that children younger than four years of age do not travel in the front seat of a vehicle with two or more rows. Drivers will also need to ensure that children aged four years to under seven years of age do not travel in the front seat of a vehicle with two or more rows unless all other back seats are occupied by children younger than seven years.
In the interests of improved child road safety it is recommended parents and carers of young children make every effort to comply with the new requirements as soon as possible.
New child restraint laws – Frequently Asked Questions
Choose the right child restraint
A child that is properly secured in an approved child restraint is less likely to be injured or killed in a car crash than one who is not.
Child restraints can be purchased from retail outlets or hired from some local councils, some maternity hospitals,
community groups and from privately run rental companies.
Child restraints available in Australia must meet the Australian /New Zealand Standard 1754:2004 Child restraints for use in motor vehicles. The standard is one of the toughest child restraint standards in the world and child restraints manufactured to this Standard offer good protection in a crash.
A significant number of the restraints have been tested and assessed under the Child Restrain Evaluation Programme (CREP).
Find out more about the results of these tests and the guidelines you should follow when buying a child restraint in the safer child restraints brochure.
Using a restraint correctly greatly increases a child’s safety during a crash.
Placing a child in a restraint that is designed for a larger/older child increases the risk of serious injury in a crash.
Ensure the restraint is installed correctly. See a restraint fitter if in any doubt.
Always use the top tether strap where required.
Teach your child to always keep both arms within the harness system of the child seat or the seat belt of the booster seat.
When using a seat belt with a booster, ensure the seat belt is correctly fitted over the child’s shoulder.
Move your child into a forward-facing restraint only when they no longer fit into a rearward-facing restraint.
Move your child into a booster seat only when they no longer fit into a forward-facing restraint.
Follow all the manufacturer’s instructions carefully if you are fitting the restraint yourself. If the instructions have been lost, contact the manufacturer or seek advice from an RTA Authorised Fitting Station. Call 13 22 13 to find your nearest RTA Authorised Fitting Station.