In Queensland, as in most Australian states, children aged seven and below are required to be fitted correctly in properly fastened child restraints. However, there are various laws, regarding child restraints, that you may not be aware of. Let’s take a look at the road rules surrounding child safety, in vehicles, in Queensland.
Seat Belt Laws:
The driver is responsible to make certain that all passengers, of any age, use seat belts and restraints appropriately. If the driver fails to ensure this, they may incur substantial fines and demerit points. A passenger over the age of 16 can also be fined for not wearing a seatbelt. For example, if a passenger over the age of sixteen is not be wearing a seatbelt, both they and the driver can be fined.
Speciality vehicles, such as vintage cars, that are not required to have seatbelts and child restraint anchor points, are not excluded from these rules. These vehicles can only carry children that are properly restrained.
Private hire cars have the same laws as regular private vehicles. On request, hire companies will loan child restraints. This may incur an extra fee.
For exemptions to the seat belt laws, view Section 267 of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995.
Taxis and Rideshares:
Taxis and rideshares, such as Uber, is where the laws get more difficult. 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.
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 be used.
If a vehicle has two or more rows, children younger than seven must not sit in the front seat. 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.
Finding appropriate 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, the restraints cannot be legally used.
All child restraints sold in Australia will have a date mark printed on them. We advise against the use of restraints that are more than 10 years old. If you cannot find the date mark, contact the manufacturer.
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