Laws on Child Restraints 2010
The Government has made the Road Amendment (Child Seating and Restraint) Rules 2010 to amend the Road Rules 2008 to implement a small number of practical amendments to the rules relating to the restraint of children under 7 years of age. The amendments which commenced today will:
• Require drivers of small buses (vehicles with 9 to 12 seats including the driver seat) that provide a public passenger service under the Passenger Transport Act 1990 to ensure all passengers under one year old are appropriately restrained in a child restraint and that all other passengers under 16 years old are appropriately restrained in a seatbelt. The amendment will ensure that drivers of small buses providing a public passenger service will be treated the same as taxi drivers in respect of the restraint of passengers under 16 years old. • Allow passengers 4 years or older, but under 7 years old, to use an additional seat (commonly referred to as a “dickie seat”) without a child restraint or booster seat on the condition that the passenger be correctly restrained on the additional seat by:
• a lap and sash type seatbelt; or
• a lap belt together with an approved child safety harness.
Note: The additional seat must be suitable for the size and weight of the passenger.
•Make it clearer that passengers 4 years or older, but under 7 years old, may sit in the front seat if there is no available seating position in which the passenger can sit in accordance with the child restraint/booster seat requirements. The intent is to clarify that a passenger 4 years to under 7 years old may sit in the front seat if: • an approved child restraint or booster seat cannot fit between two other child restraints or booster seats; or • the back row of seats in the vehicle is not designed for fitting a child restraint or booster.
• Allow parents and carers to choose to place a child 4 years or older, but under 7 years old, in the front row if the only available seating position in the back row or rows are additional seats.
• Allow a passenger under 7 years old to sit in the front row of a vehicle, if the driver is carrying a medical certificate stating that in the opinion of a medical practitioner, the passenger should be in the front row because of the passenger’s medical condition.
The amending legislation may be found at: http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/sessionalview/sessional/sr/2010-370.pdf
The full Road Rules 2008 may also be found online at:http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/maintop/view/inforce/subordleg+179+2008+cd+0+N
Please note it may take a day or two for the amendments to be incorporated into the Road Rules as it appears on the NSW Legislation website.