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Seats and seat belts

Secure seats and seat belts are essential to travelling safely in most road vehicles. Here, you'll find information on vehicle seating and seat belt rules and regulations, as well as guidance on replacing or repairing seat belts.

  Children's seat belts and child restraints

Drivers are legally responsible for ensuring that children are suitably restrained in a vehicle:

  • Aged 0 to 6 months are restrained in a rear-facing child restraint (e.g. infant capsule).
  • Aged 6 months to under 4 years are restrained in either a rear or forward-facing child restraint with in-built harness.
  • Aged 4 years to under 7 years seated in either a forward-facing child seat or booster seat restrained by a fastened seat belt or child safety harness.
  • Aged 7 years to 16 years are either in a suitable child seat or a seatbelt.
  • Aged under 7 years must not be in the front row of seats, if the vehicle has two or more rows of seats.
  • Aged between 4 years and 7 years can travel in the front seat if all other rear seats are filled with passengers aged under 7.
  • When riding in a bus or taxi, if there is no suitable approved child seat available, children under the age of seven years must not be in the front row of seats where the bus or taxi has two or more rows of seats.
  • Children seven years and over can be restrained in an adult seat belt or booster seats.

If a child is not wearing a seat belt or a suitable child restraint as required by the law, then the driver risks being fined and incurring demerit points. You must not drive your vehicle with unrestrained children in it if there are positions with seat belts available.

Before you buy or install a child restraint, make sure it complies with Australian Standards.

For more information about fitting child restraints and the Road Safety Council's network of Child Car Restraint Fitters in Western Australia, read our Child Restraint information bulletin.

DVS_P_Type_2CRA_Fitting_Station_Business_rules.pdf icon Child restraint fitting station scheme business rules - Type 2 Kb
DVS_F_E183_Type2_Child_Restraint_Fitting_Station_Officer_applications.pdf icon E183: Child restraint fitting station and officer application - Type 2 Kb
LBU_VS_IB_118.pdf icon IB-118I: Fitting Child Car Restraints (Information Bulletin) Kb
DVS_P_Exemptions_standard_child_restraint_requirements.pdf icon Exemptions for drivers carrying children with a medical condition or disability from standard child restraint requirements Kb
DVS_P_FAQ_child_restraints_disabilities_medical_conditions.pdf icon Restraint of children with disabilities or medical conditions (FAQ) Kb

  Type 2 child restraint fitting stations

Service Type Suburb Business Name Phone number Phone number (secondary) Fax Pre-booking required Business Hours Email Street address Postal address Business Type Vehicle type Comments
Fitting station (Type 2 child restraints) Albany Evertrans (Type 2 child restraint fitter) (08) 9841 2477 No Please call for details. 23 Kelly Street, Albany WA 6330 Authorised Agency
Fitting station (Type 2 child restraints) Bassendean Custom Cars (Type 2 child restraint fitter) (08) 9279 3066 No Please call for details. 3 Fairford Street, Bassendean WA 6054 WA Authorised Agency
Fitting station (Type 2 child restraints) Beckenham Down Under Auto Services Pty Ltd (Type 2 child restraint fitter) (08) 9303 4881 No Please call for details. 25 William Street, Beckenham WA 6107 Authorised Agency
Fitting station (Type 2 child restraints) Broome Bob's Workshop (Type 2 child restraint fitter) (08) 9192 2447 No Please call for details. 45A Blackman Street, Broome WA 6725 Authorised Agency
Fitting station (Type 2 child restraints) Bunbury Opposite Lock (Type 2 child restraint fitter) (08) 9791 5717 No Please call for details. 6 Bourke Street, Bunbury WA 6230 Authorised Agency
Fitting station (Type 2 child restraints) Bunbury South West Mechanical & Offroad (Type 2 child restraint fitter) (08) 9721 4080 No Please call for details. 16 Rose Street, Bunbury WA 6230 Authorised Agency
Fitting station (Type 2 child restraints) Busselton Passmore Automotive (Type 2 child restraint fitter) (08) 9752 1887 No Please call for details. 61 West Street, Busselton WA 6280 Authorised Agency
Fitting station (Type 2 child restraints) Canning Vale Omnibus Services (Type 2 child restraint fitter) (08) 9256 3211 No Please call for details. 20 Coulson Way, Canning Vale WA 6155 WA Authorised Agency
Fitting station (Type 2 child restraints) Capel Assured Automotive (Type 2 child restraint fitter) (08) 9727 3402 No Please call for details. 89 Ilmenite Crescent, Capel WA 6271 WA Authorised Agency
Fitting station (Type 2 child restraints) Carlisle Modified Vehicle Systems (Type 2 child restraint fitter) (08) 9470 5727 No Please call for details. 45-47 Cohn Street, Carlisle WA 6101 Authorised Agency
Fitting station (Type 2 child restraints) Como Como Paint & Panel (Type 2 child restraint fitter) (08) 9367 2662 No Please call for details. 270 Canning Highway, Como WA 6052 Authorised Agency
Fitting station (Type 2 child restraints) Esperance Darren's A1 Auto Pty Ltd (Type 2 child restraint fitter) (08) 9071 3551 No Please call for details. 27 Shelden Road, Esperance WA 6450 Authorised Agency
Fitting station (Type 2 child restraints) Exmouth Exmouth Service Centre (Type 2 child restraint fitter) (08) 9949 4001 No Please call for details. 6 Koolinda Way, Exmouth WA 6707 WA Authorised Agency
Fitting station (Type 2 child restraints) Geraldton Axis Autos Service Centre (Type 2 child restraint fitter) (08) 9921 2411 No Please call for details. 284 Marine Terrace, Geraldton WA 6530 Authorised Agency
Fitting station (Type 2 child restraints) Geraldton Clyde's Coatings (Type 2 child restraint fitter) (08) 9964 4274 No Please call for details. Unit 5, 3 Boyd Street, Geraldton WA 6530 Authorised Agency
Fitting station (Type 2 child restraints) Geraldton Ian Morris (Type 2 child restraint fitter) 0428 381 762 No Please call for details. Geraldton WA P.O. Box 2138, Geraldton WA 6530 Authorised Agency Map pin only indicates the location of the base suburb, not the business address.
Fitting station (Type 2 child restraints) Hazelmere TL Engineering (Aust) Pty Ltd (Type 2 child restraint fitter) (08) 9279 5466 No Please call for details. 463 Bushmead Road, Hazelmere WA 6055 Authorised Agency
Fitting station (Type 2 child restraints) Kalgoorlie Abletek Mechanical (Type 2 child restraint fitter) (08) 9021 6174 No Please call for details. 105 Forrest Street, Kalgoorlie WA 6430 Authorised Agency
Fitting station (Type 2 child restraints) Karratha Double R Equipment Repairs (Type 2 child restraint fitter) (08) 9185 2699 No Please call for details. Coolawanyah Road, Karratha WA 6714 Authorised Agency
Fitting station (Type 2 child restraints) Kununurra Coventry Machine Works (Type 2 child restraint fitter) 0407 728 486 No Please call for details. 16 Poincettia Way, Kununurra WA 6743 WA Authorised Agency
Fitting station (Type 2 child restraints) Kununurra Kununurra Panel Beating Works (Type 2 child restraint fitter) (08) 9168 1316 No Please call for details. 28 Poincettia Way, Kununurra WA 6743 Authorised Agency
Fitting station (Type 2 child restraints) Mandurah Mandurah Diesel & Marine Repairs (Type 2 child restraint fitter) (08) 9581 6572 No Please call for details. 27 Thornborough Road, Mandurah WA 6210 Authorised Agency
Fitting station (Type 2 child restraints) Mandurah Peel 4WD Centre (Type 2 child restraint fitter) (08) 9581 6184 No Please call for details. 292 Pinjarra Rd, Mandurah WA 6210 Authorised Agency
Fitting station (Type 2 child restraints) Welshpool Seat Belt Solutions (Type 2 child restraint fitter) (08) 9258 3666 No Please call for details. Unit 1, 35 Colin Jamieson Drive, Welshpool WA 6106 Authorised Agency
Fitting station (Type 2 child restraints) Welshpool Wesbar Vanquip (Type 2 child restraint fitter) (08) 9458 9177 No Please call for details. 86 Ewing Street, Welshpool WA 6106 Authorised Agency
LBU_VS_IB_118.pdf icon IB-118I: Fitting Child Car Restraints (Information Bulletin) Kb

  Heavy vehicles, upgrading to seats with built-in seatbelts

Current statistics and research confirm that drivers of heavy vehicles have very low seat belt wearing rates. One of the major reasons for this is the sash-shoulder rubbing problem, known as racking down, which can cause drivers considerable discomfort.

Seats fitted with integrated lap-sash seatbelts (Belt-in-seat or 'BIS' configuration) provide the safest seatbelt combination and ensure that the sash-shoulder rubbing problem is largely eliminated, the discomfort issues can be significantly reduced by installing the seat belts on the suspension seat itself.

In an effort to encourage owners/operators to replace their cab-anchored seat belts with suspension seats with integrated seat belts, a scheme has been set up to minimise both the costs and bureaucracy involved in having BIS approvals processed.

For more information refer to the following Commonwealth Vehicle Standards Bulletin (VSB):

  • Vehicle Standards Bulletin VSB 6 - Heavy vehicle modifications.

You may download VSB 6 information from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications website.

External Link Department of Infrastructure,Transport, Regional Development and Communications: Vehicle Standards Bulletins (VSB)

  Installing additional seats and seat belts

Additional seats may be fitted to all vehicles where they are a manufacturer's option. Where a seat belt is fitted to an additional seat it must conform to Australian Standards and must have an anchorage visibly comparable to those originally fitted to the vehicle.

For more information on the manufacture and installation of additional seats refer to the following Commonwealth Vehicle Standards Bulletins (VSBs):

  • VSB 5A - Commercial manufacture and installation of additional seats.
  • VSB 5B - Construction and installation of additional seats by individuals.

You can download the Vehicle Safety Bulletins from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications website.

External Link Department of Infrastructure,Transport, Regional Development and Communications: Vehicle Standards Bulletins (VSB)
LBU_VS_IB_130.pdf icon IB-130B: Retrofitting seat belts (restraints) to buses (Information Bulletin) Kb

  Riding in the back of vehicles

It is illegal to ride in the back of a panel van, station wagon, utility or other open load vehicle, even if it has a roll-over protection device fitted.

If you are travelling in the open load space of a utility or in the back of a panel van or station wagon you face a greater risk of serious injury or death, particularly if there is a crash or if you fall out of the vehicle.

  Riding as a pillion passenger

A person occupying the seat of a motorcycle; moped or motor carrier located behind the riderís seat is referred to as a pillion passenger. In WA a pillion passenger must be at least 8 years old and be able to keep their feet on the footrests or in the case of a side car, confined within the sidecar.

The number of passengers carried cannot exceed the number of seats designed to carry passengers.

You and any passenger must wear an approved safety helmet.

Pillion passengers who are not used to being on a motorcycle may act unpredictably. Therefore, it is advisable to instruct your passenger to relax, hold onto the grab rail or your waist and follow your lead when leaning.

Motorcycles are not designed to carry large loads. Your motorcycle manual will give you a total weight your vehicle is designed to carry, including rider and pillion.

  Load restraints for light vehicles

Overhanging loads

In the case of a light vehicle such as a ute, the load and equipment on the vehicle must not project more than 1.2 m in front of the vehicle or 1.2 m to the rear of the vehicle. The load and equipment on the side of the vehicle, other than rear vision mirrors and approved signalling devices, must not project more than 150 mm.

Where a projecting load is not readily visible, the driver must mark the end of the load or equipment with a brightly coloured flag or piece of material, with each side at least 300 mm long, so that it is clearly visible to other drivers. At night, the driver must fit to the extreme rear end of the load or equipment, a clear red light, visible at a distance of 200 m.

Load restraints

It is an offence if your load is not properly restrained and is at risk of falling from your vehicle. Load restraints should meet the performance standards detailed in the Load Restraint Guide on the National Transport Commission (NTC) website.

For more information, read about:

External Link National Transport Commission Australia website
lbu_vs_ib_117.pdf icon IB-117D: Tradesmen's roof racks (Information Bulletin) Kb

  Seat belt repairs

It is both illegal and unsafe to have a worn, frayed, faded or damaged seat belt. You must have a worn, frayed, faded or damaged seat belt replaced.

Replacement seat belts may be fitted where they are the same format as the original and comply with the Australian Standards Association requirements, which are amended from time to time. Any replacement belt must be new (second-hand belts are not permitted to be used).

For more information on seat belt repairs, including a list of organisations that are authorised to carry our seat belt repairs, refer to the information bulletins below.

Information for seat belt repairers

The guidelines for seat belt repairers below provides information on:

  • Audits.
  • How to apply to become a seat belt repairer.
  • Technical requirements.
LBU_VS_IB_110.pdf icon IB-110G: Approved Seat Belt Repairers (Information Bulletin) Kb
lbu_vs_ib_113.pdf icon IB-113B: Seat belt replacement (Information Bulletin) Kb
LBU_VS_CI_109.pdf icon CI-109C: Guidelines for seat belt repairers (Circular to Industry) Kb

  Seat belt rules

Who must wear a seat belt?

By law, all drivers and passengers must wear seat belts if they are fitted in the vehicle. Seat belts are designed to be used by only one person at a time. Doubling up, fastening a seat belt around two people is both illegal and unsafe.

Seat belts must be worn on every trip, long or short.

Many crashes occur within a short distance of the driver's home. Even if you are just going to the local shops, you must wear your seat belt.

Bus, taxi and small charter vehicle (omnibus) drivers

Under Road Safety Commission regulations, taxi and omnibus drivers must ensure that children aged between 1 and 7 are restrained in standard seatbelts that are properly adjusted and securely fastened to the best extent possible given the height and weight of the passengers.

The law requires that children:

  • Aged 0 to 6 months are restrained in a rear-facing child restraint (e.g. infant capsule).
  • Aged 6 months to under 4 years are restrained in either a rear or forward-facing child restraint with in-built harness.
  • Aged 4 years to under 7 years seated in either a forward-facing child seat or booster seat restrained by a fastened seat belt or child safety harness.
  • Aged 7 years to 16 years are either in a suitable child seat or a seatbelt.
  • Aged under 7 years must not be in the front row of seats, if the vehicle has two or more rows of seats.
  • Aged between 4 years and 7 years can travel in the front seat if all other rear seats are filled with passengers aged under 7.
  • When riding in a bus or taxi, if there is no suitable approved child seat available, children under the age of seven years must not be in the front row of seats where the bus or taxi has two or more rows of seats.
  • Children seven years and over can be restrained in an adult seat belt or booster seats.

For information on child restraint laws and additional seat belt laws refer to;

  • Road Safety Commission.
  • Roadwise website.

Who does not have to wear a seat belt?

Legally, you do not have to wear a seat belt if you are:

  • The driver of a vehicle travelling in reverse.
  • In possession of a current medical certificate authorising exemption.
  • Doing work which requires getting in and out of the vehicle frequently, and the vehicle does not travel faster than 25 km/h.
  • Under the age of 12 months and in a taxi, if there is no suitable child restraint available.
  • A taxi driver carrying passengers after dark.
  • Pregnant with a current medical certificate exemption.

Note: A passenger in a taxi, bus, omnibus or tow truck who is over 16 years of age may hold a child who is under 1 year of age in their lap if there is no suitable child restraint available for the child and the passenger is not in the front row of seats if the vehicle has more than one row of seats.

Opens in a new window Road Safety Commission
Opens in a new window Roadwise
DVS_P_Exemptions_standard_child_restraint_requirements.pdf icon Exemptions for drivers carrying children with a medical condition or disability from standard child restraint requirements Kb

  Transporting animals in or on vehicles

Please keep your pets safe in vehicles - Image: myPolice Queensland
Please keep your pets safe in vehicles - Image: myPolice Queensland

An animal being transported in a vehicle must not be in such a position as to obstruct or be likely to obstruct the vision, or cause a distraction. A driver may not have an animal on their lap.

It is recommended that when transporting an animal in a vehicle the driver must ensure the animal(s) are properly restrained to prevent injury in the event of an accident.

Dogs etc. carried on Motorcycles

The rider of a motorcycle cannot ride with an animal on the part of the motorcycle between the rider and the handlebars or in another position that interferes with the rider's ability to control the motorcycle or have a clear view of the carriageway. *

* Except for the purposes of a farming activity and then only for a distance of not more than 500 metres on a road provided it is safe to do so.

Animals tethered to vehicles

The rider or driver of a vehicle (including a bicycle) cannot drive if an animal is tethered to the vehicle and walking or running behind or alongside the vehicle when the vehicle is moving.

Dogs in cars

People who leave their dog in a car on a hot day can be prosecuted, face a penalty or imprisonment, and a lengthy prohibition order preventing them from owning an animal for an amount of time determined by the courts.

Image: myPolice Queensland Police News

Opens in a new window Department of Justice: Animal Welfare Act 2002

 

Page last updated: Mon Jun 21 2021 1:34:02 PM