Each year, around 30 people are killed and 90 are seriously injured on NSW roads because they were not wearing a seatbelt. These deaths and injuries can be prevented by wearing a seatbelt properly.
Drivers must wear a seatbelt while driving. Drivers must not have any part of their body outside the vehicle.
Drivers are also responsible for making sure:
- each passenger is sitting in their own seat that’s fitted with a seatbelt (they must not share the seat or seatbelt with another passenger)
- each passenger is wearing a properly secured and adjusted seatbelt or is in an approved child car seat suitable for their age and size
- there are not more passengers in the vehicle than it’s designed to carry
- no-one travels in an area of the vehicle not designed for passengers, for example, in the boot, on the floor, in the tray of a ute, or in a trailer or caravan
- passengers do not travel with any part of their body outside the vehicle.
It’s also the responsibility of passengers aged over 16 to:
- sit in their own seat and wear a properly secured and adjusted seatbelt
- not travel in an area of the vehicle not designed for passengers
- not have any part of their body outside the vehicle.
Children and seatbelts
You must not put a seatbelt around both yourself and a child on your lap. The child can be easily crushed.
You must not carry a child in your arms in a vehicle. In a crash the child can be crushed, thrown around in the vehicle, or thrown out of the vehicle.
For information on suitable approved child restraints, see Child car seats.
How to wear your seatbelt properly
During a crash, wearing a seatbelt is the most effective way to prevent the driver and passengers from being thrown around in the vehicle, being thrown out of the vehicle, or hitting each other.
For a seatbelt to work, you should adjust it 'low, flat and firm':
- low – placed on your hips to fully secure your body weight
- flat – no twists, turns or folds
- firm – regularly pull the belt firm to remove any slack.
Drivers with a full (unrestricted) licence do not have to wear a seatbelt when they are:
- reversing their vehicle
- driving a garbage or delivery vehicle travelling below 25km/h and need to get out regularly.
Passengers travelling with a driver with a full licence do not have to wear a seatbelt if they are:
- getting or giving urgent and necessary medical treatment
- in a garbage or delivery vehicle travelling below 25km/h and need to get out regularly.
All drivers, including learner, provisional P1 and P2 drivers, and their passengers may be exempt from wearing a seatbelt if they have a medical condition and are carrying an appropriate medical certificate.
Where possible, passengers who are exempt from wearing a seatbelt, or who are in a vehicle that does not have seatbelts fitted, should sit in the back seat.
Penalties for not wearing a seatbelt
If you drive while not wearing a seatbelt, or fail to make sure that your passengers are wearing a seatbelt, you will get a fine and demerit points. Double demerit points also apply.
In addition to the driver, passengers aged over 16 will get a fine for not wearing a seatbelt. They can also get a fine for travelling with any part of their body outside the vehicle.
Visit Seatbelt-related penalties for the list of fines and demerit points.