Seatbelts and child restraints on properly or $1161 fine

Minister for Transport and Main Roads and Minister for Digital Services The Honourable Mark Bailey

New campaign highlights there’s only one way to wear your seatbelt, properly.

  • Parents and carers are encouraged to install child restraints correctly via new video series.
  • Wear your seatbelt properly or face a $1161 fine and four demerit points.
  • Drivers can also be fined if their passengers are incorrectly restrained.
  • Today marks the start of Queensland Road Safety Week 2023, with the theme ‘road safety starts with me’.

    One of the easiest, most important things anyone can do to keep themselves or their children safe on the roads is to wear an appropriate seatbelt or child restraint every trip, no matter how long or short.

    Travelling unrestrained is one of the top five contributing factors to lives lost on Queensland’s roads, with 30 per cent of fatalities either wearing a seatbelt incorrectly or not at all.

    Last year, Queensland recorded its worst road toll in over a decade, with 297 lives lost. Additionally, more than 7,000 people are seriously injured on our roads each year.

    Every life lost and serious injury has a tragic impact on individuals, families and communities across Queensland that continues long after a crash.

    Mobile phone and seatbelt cameras are detecting more people wearing seatbelts incorrectly, with almost three-quarters of seatbelt offences detected for people not wearing their seatbelt properly, and only a quarter detected not wearing a seatbelt at all.

    A new campaign highlighting the consequences of not wearing seatbelts properly will run from Monday 21 August until early November on catch up tv, online, social media, radio and outdoor advertising.

    Beyond taking responsibility for our own safety on the roads, we must also ensure children are kept safe. For this reason, we have developed a new series of video guides to help parents and carers install and use child restraints correctly.

    The series comprises 12 guides for different types of restraints from infant carriers to booster seats, as well as how to place your child in their restraint properly.

    While child restraint use in Australia is relatively high, research shows many restraints are not attached to the vehicle seat correctly, not adjusted to fit the child correctly, or simply the incorrect seat type for the size of the child.

    Drivers are responsible for themselves and all passengers including children being correctly restrained. Those who break the rules risk a $1161 fine and four demerit points, not to mention death and serious injury.

    Quotes attributable to the Transport and Main Roads and Digital Services Minister Mark Bailey:

    “This year’s Queensland Road Safety Week focuses on what each of us can do to stay safe on the roads.

    “Last year 297 people lost their lives on Queensland roads – the highest number in a decade. This year we have already lost far too many people the same way, and countless others with injuries.

    “We can all do our part to stay safe while travelling on our roads, and Queensland Road Safety Week offers a reminder we can all play a part in staying safe and keeping others safe.

    “Wearing a seatbelt properly is one of the quickest, easiest and most effective things you can do for your safety whether driving or travelling as a passenger.

    “Would you rather spend $1161 on something you’d love or on a fine for not wearing your seatbelt properly? Would you rather wear your seatbelt properly, or risk serious injury in a car crash? These are the real, and serious consequences highlighted in a new $1.5 million road safety campaign.

    “There’s only one way to wear a seatbelt, with the sash part running from over your shoulder across your chest and above your stomach, the buckle low on your hip, and lap part across your pelvis and hips.

    “When it comes to children, parents and carers want to do the right thing, and we want to make sure they are empowered to make the best safety decisions.

    “This new video series highlights how to correctly and safety fit child restraints for children of all sizes, taking the mystery out of installing and using many of the different child restraints available.

    “Drivers should ensure everyone is buckled up correctly before starting every journey. An incorrectly worn seatbelt or child restraint can have serious repercussions in a crash.”

    Quotes attributable to Kidsafe Qld CEO, Susan Teerds:

    “We want to impress upon people to consider the child’s age and their size.

    “Consider for example, forward-facing restraints—just because a child is legally old enough to face forward in their restraint, they must meet the minimum height marker before forward facing and are actually safest if kept rear-facing as long as possible or for as long as they still fit their rear-facing restraint.

    “The same goes for transitioning to an adult seatbelt when your child turns seven. Just because it is legal, doesn’t mean they are big enough to come out of their child restraint and into an adult seat.

    “In fact, children are typically not big enough to use an adult seat and seatbelt until around age 11 or 12, and fit will vary depending on the child’s body geometry and the type of vehicle. That’s why we strongly encourage parents to use the 5-step test to determine whether a child is big enough to progress to an adult seat in every vehicle they ride in.

    “We want parents to make sure their child is in the right restraint for their size and that they are using it correctly, as these factors can influence the degrees of injury in the event of a crash.”

    Fast Facts

    The seatbelts campaign and videos can be viewed here

    /Public Release. View in full here.