The Northern Territory Government recently introduced new laws for children travelling in vehicles.
The new laws are based on the Australian Road Rules and are designed to ensure that children are better protected when travelling in cars and other vehicles.
These new laws require all children under 7 years of age to be secured in an approved child restraint or booster seat when travelling in a car or vehicle. The type of the restraint depends on the age of the child.
|How old is your child?||Use this restraint|
|Under 6 months||Rear facing restraint (e.g. baby capsule) – must not be in the front seat of a vehicle with two or more rows of seats|
|6 months to under
|Rear facing or forward facing restraint – must not be in the front row of a vehicle with two or more rows of seats|
|4 years to under
|Forward facing restraint or booster seat – can only sit in the front seat of a vehicle with two or more rows when all other seats are occupied by younger children in an approved child restraint|
|Over 7 years||Adult seatbelt or a booster seat|
If a child is too small for the restraint, keep them in the previous level of restraint for as long as necessary. If a child is too large for the restraint, they may move to the next level of restraint.
The new laws are designed to ensure that children are better protected when travelling in cars.
Children need to be properly restrained to reduce the chance of serious injury or death if involved in a car crash. A child restraint protects your child from being ejected from the vehicle and distributes the extreme crash forces over the strongest parts of the child’s body.
Research shows that children up to 7 years using an adult seatbelt are at least 4 times as likely to sustain a head injury in a crash compared to children in an appropriate restraint.
$480 (plus $20 Victims of Crime levy) and 3 demerit points per child not appropriately restrained.
Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and Kidsafe - The Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Australia have jointly developed the guidelines: Keeping children as safe as possible while travelling in motor vehicles: A guide for parents, carers and road safety practitioners. They provide best practice recommendations that have been approved by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
For further information contact:
Telephone: (08) 8941 8234
Telephone: 1800 720 144