Seat Belt Enforcement Technology is Welcomed – but Needed Now.

The Australasian College of Road Safety (ACRS), Australasia’s peak membership association for road safety professionals, strongly supports the NSW Governments decision to use existing infrastructure and technology to enforce seat belt legislation to detect seat belt non-compliance immediately. This follows the Bill introduced by Jenny Aitchison, the NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads.

“NSW was the global pioneer for mobile phone detection cameras,” ACRS NSW Deputy Chair Michael Timms said.

“ACRS supports efforts to increase compliance with seat belt usage, and this includes the use of camera detection systems which are already in use in other states.”

In the two-year period of 2021-2022, 60 people who died in road crashes in NSW were unrestrained.

However, Mr Timms said ACRS questioned the reported decision to have a nine-month warning letter period for camera-detected seat belt offences.

“For over 50 years, vehicle occupants in NSW have been legally required to wear a seat belt or be in a child restraint. The rule is well established. Why would you have a nine-month grace period for camera-detected seat belt offences at a time when the state is failing to meet its targets under the 2026 Road Safety Action Plan?”

In the first nine months of the year, 269 people were killed in road crashes in NSW, an increase of 28% on the same period in 2022. Nationally, road deaths have increased by 7%.

“We hope the NSW Government has reflected on the increase in road trauma this year to look for ways of reducing death and serious injury,” Mr Timms said.

“The use of existing technology to enforce seat belts is a positive road safety measure, however it should be introduced immediately”, concluded Mr Timms.