Centre for Road Safety

Seatbelts for taxi drivers

All taxi drivers in NSW must wear a seatbelt. The law was changed in January 2013, after it was found that taxi drivers were over-represented in statistics of road users injured and killed from not wearing seatbelts. Between 2000 and 2010, more than 40 per cent of taxi drivers injured in a crash were not wearing a seatbelt, compared with less than 2 per cent of all other injured drivers.

Seatbelts improve safety

Wearing a seatbelt doubles the chance of surviving a crash and reduces the risk of injury. Taxi drivers also reduce the risks to passengers by wearing a seatbelt, as an unrestrained driver can be thrown around the vehicle, potentially injuring a front-seat passenger.

Penalties for not wearing a seatbelt

Fines and demerit points apply for taxi drivers who don’t wear a seatbelt, or who drive with an unrestrained passenger under the age of 16. Taxi passengers aged 16 years or older who do not use an available seatbelt may also be fined.
Extra penalties apply for seatbelt offences in double demerit periods. The Roads and Maritime Services website has details of fines and penalties that apply to seatbelt offences.

Seatbelts and child car seats for children travelling in taxis

If you need a taxi with an approved child car seat, it is recommended you ask for one when booking a taxi and if possible, book the taxi in advance. All wheelchair accessible taxis are required to carry an approved child car seat. You also have the option to use your own child car seat in a taxi (as all passenger vehicles and some types of buses sold in Australia since 1995 must be fitted with child restraint anchorage points).

Children under the age of 12 months are not permitted to travel in a taxi unless they are secured in an approved child car seat, as follows:

  • Children aged less than 6 months: approved rearward facing restraint
  • Children aged 6 months to less than 12 months: approved rearward or forward facing restraint with an inbuilt harness

Children over the age of 12 months are permitted to wear a seatbelt while travelling in a taxi – but parents or taxi service providers may wish to provide and use a child car seat.

Seatbelts and child car seats for children travelling in hire vehicles (including rideshare vehicles)

Children under the age of 12 months are not permitted to travel in a hire vehicle unless they are secured in an approved child car seat, as follows:

  • Children aged less than 6 months: approved rearward facing restraint
  • Children aged 6 months to less than 12 months: approved rearward or forward facing restraint with an inbuilt harness

Children aged 12 months to less than 4 years old are not permitted to travel in a hire vehicle unless they are secured in an approved rearward or forward facing child restraint with an inbuilt harness.

Children aged 4 years old to less than 7 years old are not permitted to travel in a hire vehicle unless they are secured in an approved forward facing restraint with an inbuilt harness or an approved booster seat.

More information

The Child Car Seats website has details about children travelling in taxis or buses in the FAQ section.