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Child Safety Seats in Cars in Australia
Approved child restraints
Approved child restraints must comply with Australian Standards and must be correctly anchored to the vehicle using an Australian Standards approved anchorage system.
It is most likely that restraints bought in other countries will not meet this Standard, meaning that it would be illegal to use them in Australia.
Any child restraint not displaying the Australian Standard sign will be deemed illegal.
The child restraint must be correctly fitted and properly adjusted for the child using the restraint at all times.
Current Australian Road Rules
- Children less than 12 months of age must be restrained in a suitable approved child restraint.
- Children between 12 months and 16 years of age must be restrained in an approved child restraint or a properly fastened seatbelt, where one is available.
Proposed New Rules for 2009/10
The Australian Transport Council has now approved new laws which will introduce a mandatory, size-appropriate restraint system for all children up to the age of 7, and it is expected that these new laws will come into effect in the second half of 2009.
The driver of a taxi will be exempt from the new provisions if there is no suitable approved child restraint available and, if the vehicle has two or more rows of seats, the passenger is not in the front row of seats. Taxi drivers will continue to be responsible for ensuring passengers between the ages of 7 and 16 are appropriately restrained.
29 February 2008, Canberra
www.atcouncil.gov.au Ministers today announced unanimous support for new national child restraint laws, which provide a safe pathway from capsules to seat belts. In response to calls from road safety experts and the community for tougher minimum standards, children up to 6 months old must be restrained in a rearward facing infant capsule; then a forward facing child seat until the age of 4; and a booster seat from 4 to 7 years old. The new road rules will reduce the risk of injury caused by seat restraints which are unsuitable for the child’s weight and height. The reform package also recognises the increased safety protection offered by rear car seats. A child under 7 years old must be seated at the back, unless all the rear seat positions are occupied by other young children (under 7 years old).
You will receive a separate penalty of $300 and three demerit points for each unrestrained or incorrectly restrained child.
Current Rules for Child Restraints in Taxis
Currently the rules for travelling in taxis with very young children vary from state to state within Australia.
Rules for Queensland
Question: I am picking someone up at the airport and they have a young child.
Do I need a child restraint?
Yes. It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure restraints are fitted and used.
If the visitor cannot bring their own restraint, a restraint can be hired.
If they choose to use a taxi, they do not need to use a restraint, however Queensland Transport recommends always using child restraints unless in an emergency.
Kidsafe can organise for a capsule/restraint to be sent to the airport by a courier for pick up on arrival.
This must be booked and paid for at least one week in advance.
Rules for Victoria
Question: Do we need a child restraint in a taxi?
Children under one year do not have to use a child restraint in a taxi;
Children over one year must use a seat belt or child restraint (supplied by the passenger) in a taxi.
A restraint should be used wherever possible;
Use a child harness with children over 14 kg if it is difficult to carry a child restraint such as when going to the airport or shopping.
It is not safe to put a child in a seat belt with you or nurse them on your lap.
A restraint is supplied by the passengers, not the taxi driver.
All taxis have to provide an anchor bolt or fitting for one restraint.
Rules for Western Australia
PARENTS will be banned from placing children under four in the front seat of a car under new laws proposed by the WA Government.
Child Seat Hire
- www.hireforbaby.com – 50 branches all around Australia
- www.kidsafe.com.au – Some States hire Baby capules and Child seats
- Queensland Baby Capsule Hire – Queensland Ambulance Service offer a baby capsule hire service across Queensland
- Australian Red Cross – Some States hire Baby capules and Child seats
- Australian Transport Safety Bureau A Simple Guide to Child Restraints