The following article is a brief overview of car seat laws in Australia. However, you should make your enquiries to confirm current laws as they may differ in each Australian state or territory and amended since the writing of this article.
Even without knowing the annual auto fatality statistics for Australian children, few would debate the importance of car seat use or the laws that govern that use. Though it hasn’t always been the case, Australian law governing car seats is now fairly well uniform across states. There are standard rules separating children by age group; some of the ages overlap.
The laws are:
- younger than six months, children must be in a rearward-facing car seat with a five or six-point harness (i.e., five or six Straps).
- Younger than four years, children cannot ride in the front seat of a car that has more than one row of seats
- younger than seven years, children can ride in the front seat of a car that has only one row of seats, but the car must have
the correct anchor points to secure the car seat; it is important to check on this because not all cars will have The proper anchor points.
- Six months to 4 years, the prohibition against forward-facing Car seat lift.
- Four years to 7 years, a forward-facing car seat with a five or the six-point harness can be used or a high-backed booster seat With a seat-belt.
- Over seven years, children should be in a high-backed booster seat with a seat-belt until this is outgrown, at that point, Just a regular seat-belt can be used.
- Younger than 16 years, the car’s driver must ensure that allThe proper restraint secures minors in the car, whether that be car seat or seat-belt. While these laws govern all of the Commonwealth, the laws of the various states may have other requirements and it is important to become acquainted with the laws of your state.
It’s important to keep in mind that just because a child would legally be able to move to a different seat or seat-belt, that does not mean that that move is required. Children grow and mature at different rates. If a child would not fit into, and therefore would not be safe in, an allowable seat or seat-belt,
he/she should stay in the restraint that he/she now uses. There are certain exemptions to these laws. Most involve extreme circumstances. In these cases, the law does not require a child to be in a car seat or seat-belt.
- A child riding on a bus
- a child under a year old riding in a taxi and the proper car seat or seat-belt is unavailable, even in this case, the A child cannot ride in the front seat.
- A child is riding in a police or other emergency vehicle.
- A child with a disease, illness or injury that would prevent the use of the car seat or seat-belt, in this case, the driver must carry a doctor’s statement confirming this.
These cases just mean that non-use of a car seat is not illegal. Please use your best judgement in every circumstance. A driver who allows these laws to be violated can be fined and receive three demerit points on his/her licence. For more information check out your local state road authority website such as South Australians can view here.