Information about Australian Car Seat Law

Information contained on this page is applicable to Australian car seat laws and is seperate from general information found on the rest of this site.

Australia's law

Infants under 6 months old: must be restrained in a rear facing restraint.

Children 6 months to 4 years old: must be restrained in rear or forward facing restraint.

Children 4 to 7 years old: must be in a forward facing restraint or booster.

An approved restraint is one that meets AS/NZS 1754 standard, this is Australia's "5 Tick" standard. No other standards are accepted in Australia, it is an offence to sell, or
offer for sale, a child restraint or part of a child restraint for use in a motor vehicle if it is not approved as described above.

Children less than 16 years old

It is the driver's responsibility to ensure that passengers under 16 years of age are properly restrained in a seat belt or approved child restraint. This does not apply to drivers of buses or motor bikes.

The maximum fine is currently $1,250 plus a Victims of Crime Levy with the loss of three demerit points.

Exemptions to AU law

  • A child under one is travelling in a taxi and a suitable restraint is not available, provided the child does not travel in the front seat
  • A child is travelling in a police or emergency vehicle
  • A child has a medical condition or physical disability that makes it impractical to use a child restraint, and the driver has a certificate from a doctor indicating this is the case.
Australian car seat law

Australian Standard AS/NZ1754.

This standard covers materials, design, construction, performance, testing and labelling of child restraints. All restraints must carry the Australian Standard AS/NZ1754 sticker (shown to the left).

Most overseas child restraints, including restraints from the UK, NZ and USA, do not comply with these Standards and cannot legally be sold in Australia.

Background on the Australian standard for child restraints

Australian Standard for child restraints was first introduced in 1973. This standard is one of the toughest in the world, and demands an extremely high degree of protection for a child. The standard requires dynamic (crash) testing of restraints and features that significantly improve performance in a crash. One of the main features of the standard is the use of a top tether strap to an anchor point for infant restraints, child car seats, child harnesses and some booster seats.

Ongoing development of the Australian Standard will see better side impact testing to further improve the performance of child restraints. There has also been consideration of a new attachment system allowing a child restraint to be installed in the vehicle without the need for the use of the seat belt. Known as ISOFIX or LATCH systems, these have been developed under the International Standards Organisation (ISO) that has established an International Standard for child restraints. At this stage the decision has been made to continue with more rigorous testing of this new system, including the improvements to side impact tests, before changes to the Australian Standard are made.

Contact details for manufacturing companies

Britax

(Safe-n-Sound, BabyLove, Hipod)
Free call: 1300 303 330
Ph: (03) 9288 7288
Fax: (03) 9311 5798
99 Derby Road (entry via Thorpe Street)
Sunshine Victoria 3020
Website
custserv@britax.com.au : (NZ nzoffice@britax.com.au)

IGC Dorel

(Mother’s Choice, Zuzu, Go Safe, Auger, IGC, Cosco)
Free Call: 1300 809 526
655-685 Somerville Rd
West Sunshine Victoria 3020
Website
sales@igcdorel.com.au : (NZ customerservice@igcdorel.co.nz)

Infa

Ph: 02 4728 8000
Fax: 02 4728 8040
110-114 Old Bathurst Rd
EMU PLAINS NSW 2750
Website

Source

The Royal Automobile Club of Victoria

Source

Transport South Australia