sa.gov.au

South Australia's child restraint laws

National child restraint laws were introduced in South Australia on 1 July 2010 to help protect children in the event of a crash. Enforcement penalties apply from 1 October 2010.

Children need different restraints as they grow. Nothing else offers the same level of crash protection for babies and young children as a properly fitted child restraint. To provide maximum safety benefits, the restraint must match the size of the child and be properly installed and adjusted to fit the child's body.

From birth, children start with a rear-facing infant restraint, progress to a forward-facing child safety seat and finally graduate to a booster seat before using an adult seatbelt when they are tall enough.

Approved child restraints

Drivers must ensure children are secured in the following restraints when travelling in a motor vehicle.

Up to six months

Rearward-facing infant restraint.

More information…

From six months up to four yearsRearward-facing infant restraint.
Or
Forward-facing child safety seat with an inbuilt harness.

More information…

From four years up to seven yearsForward-facing child safety seat with an inbuilt harness.
Or
Booster seat and be restrained with a properly fastened and adjusted seatbelt or child safety harness.
More information…
Seven years and olderBooster seat and be restrained with a properly fastened and adjusted seatbelt or child safety harness.
Or
A correctly fitted and adjusted adult seatbelt.
More information…

 

Approved child restraints must comply with Australian Standard (AS) 1754.

If a child is too tall or heavy for the restraint specified for their age they should use the restraint specified for the next age group. If a child is also too small to move into the restraint approved for their age they should remain in the restraint specified for the previous age group.

For more information download a child restraint brochure  917.4 KB for an alternative version of this document, contact a Service SA customer service centre.

Penalties

From 1 July 2014, drivers will receive an on-the-spot fine of $333 if one person is unrestrained and $394 if more than one person is unrestrained (plus a Victim's of Crime Levy of $60).

Up to five demerit points will also apply.

Exemptions

Bus drivers

Bus drivers will continue to be exempt from ensuring passengers under 16 years of age are restrained.

Under the Australian Road Rules, a bus is defined as a motor vehicle designed to carry over 12 adults (including the driver). If a vehicle is designed to carry 12 adults or less (including the driver) it is not a bus and the driver is not exempt from ensuring all passengers are appropriately restrained.

Other exemptions

  • Motorbikes
  • A person for whom a certificate signed by a medical practitioner is produced by the driver of the vehicle.*
  • A person for whom a certificate of exemption issued by the Minister for Transport is produced by the driver of the vehicle.*
  • A person travelling in a historic vehicle that is registered and driven in accordance with the conditions of registration.

* These exemptions do not apply if the certificate is not produced on request by the driver of the vehicle.

Taxis

Taxi drivers are not required to provide child restraints or booster seats. It is recommended you provide your own restraint when travelling in a taxi.

Children must never sit in the front seat of a taxi. Taxi drivers are not required to ensure children under one year are restrained. They are required to ensure children between one and seven years are seated in their own seat in the rear row with a seatbelt fastened if no child restraint is available.


Related information

On this site

Seatbelts and child restraints

Other websites

Seatbelt safety and the law - Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure
Australian Road Rules
under the Road Traffic Act 1961

Downloads

Child restraint brochure 917.4 KB - for an alternative version of this document, contact a Service SA customer service centre


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Page last updated: 14th July 2014