children are killed or seriously each year when the vehicle they are travelling in is involved in crash.
years (and over) is the age when a child can be restrained in an adult seat belt or booster seat.
Frequently asked questions about children
What age can children travel in the front seat of the car?
In most vehicles the safest seating position to put your child in is the centre of the back seats followed by the position behind the front passenger seat.
The laws states that a child under 4 can't be in the front passenger seat if there are two or more rows of seats. If the child is 4 and above but under 7, they can't be in the front passenger seat unless all the other seats are taken up by passengers under the age of 7.
If there is only one row of seats make sure that the child seat is moved back as far as possible, and is not directly in front of an air bag.
Do children need child seats in taxis?
Taxi drivers are exempt from these provisions if there is no suitable, approved child restraint available. If the taxi has two or more rows of seats, children under the age of seven years must not be in the front row of seats. Taxi drivers will continue to be responsible for ensuring passengers between the ages of seven and 16 years are appropriately restrained.
Omnibus drivers (including small charter vehicles) are also exempted from these provisions.
Do children need child seats in buses?
Bus drivers are exempt from ensuring passengers under 16 years of age are restrained. Under the WA Road Traffic Code 2000, a Bus is defined as a motor vehicle, built mainly to carry people, which seats over 12 adults (including the driver). In this situation, child restraints are not required.
If the vehicle involved is designed to carry 12 adults or less (including the driver) it is not classed as a bus and the driver is required to ensure that all passengers are restrained in the appropriate type of restraint for their age.
Is a child allowed in the front seat of a truck?
Children under 4 can't be in the front passenger seat if there are two or more rows of seats. If the child is 4 and above but under 7, they can't be in the front passenger seat unless all the other seats are taken up by passengers under the age of 7.
Child road safety programs
School Drug Education and Road Aware (SDERA), supported by the Road Safety Commission, works to help children and young people from 0 to 20 years stay safe on the roads.
- Smart Steps is an early intervention program that sets the scene for developing positive road safety attitudes and behaviours in young children.
- Challenges and Choices is a program of multi-media teaching resources for Kindergarten through to Year 10.
- Keys for Life prepares Year 10 to 12 students for safer driving. The program is an important part of the road safety strategy as young drivers are over-represented in road crash statistics each year.
- Whole School Approach recognises that all aspects of the school community can impact positively upon students' health, safety and wellbeing.
- The Changing Health Acting Together (CHAT) program offers intensive, step-by-step support to develop a best practice whole-school approach to resilience, drug and road safety education.
Children as pedestrians
Children’s vulnerability as road users is centred around their cognitive and perceptual abilities which are not fully developed until young adulthood.
Children are at risk on the roads because they:
- are small and can’t see over parked cars and can’t be seen easily by drivers.
- are energetic and have trouble stopping at corners.
- have difficulty telling which direction the where sounds are coming from.
- have trouble judging the speed of cars reliably.
- tend to focus on what is in front of them.
- may behave differently when they are out with other children, forgetting about traffic.
- may freeze if they find themselves in the path of a car, rather than jump out of the way.
- require specially fitted restraints which must be altered as they grow.
Children on driveways
One child is run over in the driveway of his or her own home every week in Australia. More than 33% of children aged under 6 killed in crashes were killed ‘off road’ in yards, car parks and driveways.
It is recommended that children are always supervised, and not left alone to play, especially when they are near parked or moving cars. Hold their hands or hold them close to keep them safe. Make access to the driveway from the house difficult for young children.
Children and other wheeled devices
Rollerskaters, skateboarders and scooter riders are legally allowed to use footpaths and shared paths. They must keep to the left and give way to pedestrians.
Scooters, rollerbladers, inline-skaters and skateboarders can use roads but only in daylight hours on local roads that do not have white lines or median islands and which have speed limits of 50 km/h or less. These road users must keep to the left.
Helmets are recommended for the safety of rollerskaters, skateboarders and scooter riders.