Member for Mulgrave, Curtis Pitt, has welcomed the new national package of road safety laws announced this week that will make car travel safer for young children in Queensland.
Mr Pitt said the new child restraint laws announced by the Bligh Government would improve safety through the use of child restraints and booster seats between the ages of one and seven.
“The new child restraint laws require all children up to seven to be appropriately seated in an Australian Safety Standard approved child restraint or capsule, according to their age and size,” Mr Pitt said.
“I’m pleased this Government is taking action to ensure the safety of our young children – one child’s death from being inadequately restrained in an accident is one death too many.
“Seatbelts alone don’t protect children in the same way as they protect adults – that’s why we have introduced these new child restraint laws.”
Mr Pitt urged parents to consider using a booster seat for young children straight away, even though the new laws would not come into force until March next year.
“Don’t wait for the new laws to come into force. Start today and have peace of mind that you’re doing the right thing for your child.”
Transport Minister Rachel Nolan, who announced the new national package of road safety laws this week, including the new child restraint laws, said an extensive study by the Medical
Journal of Australia found that premature graduation of children into adult seatbelts greatly increased the risk of injury or death.
“There is clear evidence that a properly-fitted restraint can improve your child’s chances of surviving a serious crash by up to 50 per cent,” Ms Nolan said.
Ms Nolan said a $700,000 awareness and education campaign would begin later this year to advise people of the changes to road rules and child restraints.
The Department of Transport and Main Roads will provide an online guide to assist parents and carers in selecting a suitable child restraint.
Visit www.transport.qld.gov.au/childrestraints or phone 13 23 80 for more information on child restraints.
Other road rules from the national package being rolled out across all states will come into effect in Queensland from 12 October 2009, including:
- • Seatbelts – a driver with a passenger of any age without a seatbelt can be fined $300 and 3 demerit points (previously a driver was only liable when the passenger was under 16 years of age).
- • Single centre line – a driver doing a u-turn over a single continuous centre line will risk a $180 fine and the loss of three demerit points.
- • Fog lights – driving with front fog lights in clear weather will risk a fine $40 (this previously only applied to rear fog lights).
For more information on Queensland road rules visit www.transport.qld.gov.au/roadrules