In Queensland, as in most Australian states, children aged seven and below must be seated in correctly fastened child restraints. However, there are various laws regarding child restraints, of which you may be unaware. Let’s look at the road rules surrounding child safety, in vehicles, in Queensland.
QLD Seat Belt Laws
The driver is accountable for the safety of all passengers regardless of age, including seat belts and the appropriate use of restraints. Failure to do this may incur substantial fines and demerit points. A passenger over 16 can also be penalised for not wearing a seatbelt. For example, if a passenger over sixteen is not wearing a seatbelt, they and the driver can be fined.
Speciality vehicles, such as vintage cars, may be excluded from these rules. They may not be required to have seatbelts and child restraint anchor points. These vehicles can only carry children that are appropriately restrained.
Private hire cars have the same laws as regular personal vehicles. On request, hire companies will loan child restraints. These restraints may incur an extra fee.
For exemptions to the seat belt laws, view Section 267 of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995.
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Rules for Taxis and Rideshares
Taxis and rideshares like Uber are where the laws get more challenging. These vehicles are not required to supply child restraints or booster seats. However, they must have anchor points to secure these devices.
When using these services, children 12 months and under may sit on the lap of someone aged 16 or over. However, they must not share the seatbelt. Meanwhile, children over 12 months old should be restrained with an adult seat belt if proper restraints are unavailable.
Bus Passenger Restraints
Buses are only required to have seatbelts if they have 13 or more rows. Buses smaller than 13 rows must have seat belts and anchors for child restraints. If a larger bus has seatbelts, they should use them.
Children in Front Seats
Children younger than seven must not sit in the front seat if a vehicle has two or more rows. However, if all other seats are occupied by children of the same age or younger, they may use the front seat even if the front passenger seat is the only one with a seatbelt.
Once children are seven years or older, they may sit in the front seat using an adult seatbelt or with a booster seat that an adult sash seatbelt has restrained.
Booster Seat Laws QLD
In Queensland, it is recommended that a child use a booster seat until their height exceeds 145cm. On average, children reach this height at 11 years of age. Children between 4 and 7 years of age can sit in a booster seat or forward-facing seat. Children over 7 years old can sit in a booster seat or a forward-facing seat. It is recommended that all children younger than 12 sit in the backseat of the car, but this is not mandatory.
Finding Appropriate Child Restraints
Child restraints used in Australia must carry the Australian Standards mark to ensure they have been manufactured according to the Australian/New Zealand standard. Otherwise, you cannot legally use the restraints.
All child restraints sold in Australia will have a date mark. We advise against the use of restraints that are more than ten years old. If you cannot find the date mark, contact the manufacturer.
QLD Car Accident Legal Advice
For close to three decades, Splatt Lawyers have offered informed legal insights for car accident injury compensation matters on a no win no fee basis. If you have been involved in a traffic accident on Queensland roads, contact us now to understand your legal rights. It costs nothing to know where you stand. Call 1800 860 777