Australian Road Rules: Amend the National Child Restraint Laws as follows.
Children younger than 12 months must be secured in a rearward facing restraint.
Children aged 12 months to under 4 years of age must be secured in either a rearward or forward facing restraint.
The current Australian Child Restraint Laws are not doing enough to protect infants from serious injuries in motor vehicle crashes. Infants and toddlers are safer sitting rear-facing in the car for as long as possible. Rear-facing provides superior protection to vulnerable young bodies, as it is a much gentler way to ride down a collision. Six month old infants do not have well-developed spines to cope with the enormous forces involved in a collision when forward-facing. Australian child restraint manufacturers now recommend keeping babies rear-facing until at least 12 months of age. They have recognised the need for larger rear-facing child-restraints that can accommodate older babies and toddlers rear-facing. A recent draft of the Australian Child Restraint Standard has included new categories of child-restraints which enable children to remain rear-facing for longer. This new Standard came into effect in 2013. It is now time for the National Child Restraint Laws to reflect these changes and come into line with the new seats and technology that is now available to keep our children safer than ever before.
Please raise the minimum allowable age by law that a baby can be turned forward-facing in the car to 12 months of age. This law change will save lives.