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Child restraint laws

Important Notice – Introduction of new child restraint Standard

A revision of the Australian and New Zealand standard for the design and performance of child restraints was released on 24 February 2010 that classifies restraints based on approximate age and seated height rather than the previous weight and age range.

Child restraints that are compliant with this new Standard (AS/NZS1754:2010) will include shoulder height markers to ensure appropriate use of the seat. The new Standard of child restraint will no longer rely on the child’s weight, making it easier for parents and carers to ensure that the appropriate restraint is being used.

The markers will clearly indicate when a child has outgrown his or her restraint and reduce the incidence of premature graduation. Once the child’s shoulders reach the seat height limit of the restraint, the child should move up to the next type of restraint where his or her shoulders are in line with or above the lowest marker.

It is important to note that child restraints that comply with previous Standards may still be used. These Standards include:

  • AS 1754–1991
  • AS/NZS 1754–1995
  • AS/NZS 1754–2000
  • AS/NZS 1754–2004

It's the law for all children up to 7 years of age to be correctly restrained according to their size and age. It is important that the correct child restraint is chosen and installed.

Child restraints frequently asked questions will tell you what you need to know about the rules and nformation about choosing a child restraint and its correct installation is also available.

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Responsibilities and penalties

The driver is responsible for making sure all people travelling in their vehicle are correctly restrained. Drivers risk being fined $341 or more and 3 demerit points for each incorrectly restrained child in the vehicle. A separate penalty of $341 or more and 3 demerit points will apply for each unrestrained or incorrectly restrained child.

An additional 3 demerit points will apply if more than 1 seatbelt offence occurs within a 12-month period. The additional demerit point penalty will apply to driver-related offences for seatbelts.

For example, if you commit a driver seatbelt offence where you failed to wear a seatbelt, you will be allocated 3 demerit points for that offence. If you commit a second offence where you drive a vehicle while a passenger is not restrained, within 1 year after the first offence, you will be allocated 3 demerit points for the second offence. You will also receive an additional 3 demerit points for it being within 1 year after the first offence. This means you will have 9 demerit points allocated to your traffic history, which may result in a driver licence sanction.

Last updated
17 July 2014

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