Baby seats, and seatbelt laws.

by Andrew Automoto21. November 2013 09:48

 

With a baby on the way, and so much stress already, installing your babies car seat and making sure it’s safe is just another worry. And with new laws having just come in, and the difference between the European laws and Australian laws, it can all become very confusing. 

There is not much difference in the way that they recommend children of different ages be restrained in car seats between Australia and Europe, however to clarify it all, we're going to cover the laws for Australia only.

In Australia the rules to follow are simple and can help your child if you are involved in an accident.

1.       Newborns to 6 months minimum must be in a rearward facing car seat, in the second row of the vehicle.

2.       6 months to 4 years old must be in a rearward or forward facing car seat with harness restraints.

3.       4 years to 7 years must be in a forward facing car seat or booster seat with appropriate restraints fitted.

4.       No child under 4 years is allowed to travel in the front seat, and no child under 7 years is allowed in the front seat of a vehicle unless all rear seats are being occupied by children less than 4 years and they travel in an approved booster seat.

It is also recommended that if your child does not fit into the next size booster seat that they stay in the recommended car seat for their size i.e: Children under 135cm are not recommended without a booster seat.

The laws aren’t so inflexible, there are a few exemptions to the rules of child restraints in vehicles.

  1. If a child under one is travelling in a taxi and they do not have the proper restraints, however they must not travel in the front seat, however there must be an adult in the back seat with them.      
  2.        If a child over one is travelling in a taxi and they do not have the proper restraints, however they must occupy their own seat, however there must be an adult in the back seat with them.
  3.        If the child is travelling in a Police or Emergency vehicle
  4.        The child is too big for the restraint for their age group, therefore they are able to use the restraint/car seats offered for their height, and weight.
  5.        If your child has a disability, or a medical condition, that makes it hard to use a safety restraint and the driver has a medical certificate from a doctor.

 Another law that has been the same for years however has recently been updated somewhat are the laws for drivers and passengers all over the age of 16 so let's clear them up now too.

In Australia it is illegal to not be wearing a seatbelt at all times if in a seat that is fitted with one, If you are in an older model car and there is not seat belt provided then you may not be required to wear one this includes the driver of the vehicle. If you are under the age of 16, it falls to the responsibility of the driver of the vehicle to make sure that you are wearing a seat belt. If you are over the age of 16 however you are still accountable and both you and the driver can be fined, there is also a loss of up to 5 demerit points for the driver that can apply.

Of course there are exemptions to the seatbelt laws for over 16’s to, if you have a medical certificate from your doctor advising you against wearing a seatbelt , or if you are the driver of a vehicle and travelling in reverse.

Remember if your seat belt is frayed it means your vehicle is not roadworthy, and if your seat belt is twisted it also means that your seatbelts safety features are not going to work properly. 

For information on how to change your seatbelt over, or to have a child seat, or baby bolts installed visit www.careservice.com.au