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Child Restraint Laws

Under Victoria’s child restraint road rules (effective since November 9, 2009), all children under 7 years of age must legally be seated in a correctly fitted child restraint or booster seat. All restraints sold in Victoria must comply with Australian Standard AS 1754.

Which restraint do I use for my child?

Children under 6 months of age must:

  • Use a rearward facing restraint that is properly fitted to the vehicle and adjusted to fit the child’s body correctly.
  • Not travel in the front seat of a vehicle that has a back row or rows of seats.

Best practice recommendation:
Infants have relatively large heads and weak necks which put them at particularly high risk of serious injuries. It is best to keep children in their rear facing restraint until they reach the maximum size limit - rear facing restraints provide the required head and neck support that a child needs.

Children 6 months to 4 years of age must:

  • Use either a rearward facing restraint OR a forward facing child restraint with an inbuilt harness, that is properly fitted to the vehicle and adjusted to fit the child’s body correctly
  • Not travel in the front seat of a vehicle that has a back row or rows of seats.

Best practice recommendation:
Keep children in their forward facing restraint with inbuilt harness until they reach the maximum size limit. Just because a child has turned 4 does not mean that they are ready to safely use a booster seat with an adult lap sash seatbelt.

Children 4 to 7 years of age must:

  • Use either a forward facing child restraint with inbuilt harness OR a booster seat with a properly fasted and adjusted seatbelt.
  • Not travel in the front seat of a vehicle that has a back row or rows of seats unless all the other back seats are occupied by children who are also under 7 years of age.

Best practice recommendation:
Different models of booster seat accommodate children up to different sizes, and some can fit children up until they can get good seat belt fit. When choosing a booster seat, look for one that will fit your child for as long as possible, especially if your child is tall for their age.

Children over 7 years of age must:

  • Use either a booster seat with a properly fastened and adjusted adult seatbelt OR an adult seat with an adult seatbelt.

Best practice recommendation:
Children should continue to use a booster seat as long as possible, until they can fit properly into an adult seat belt. A good adult seat belt fit is generally not achieved before children are approximately 145cm tall, or 11-12 years of age.

 For more information on Victoria’s child restraint road rules, visit our frequently asked questions section.