Safety in focus as seatbelt cameras go live in 2024

Published

Mobile phone detection cameras will begin enforcing seatbelt offences from mid-2024 following the successful passage of legislation through NSW Parliament.

Seatbelt compliance is being added to the work of world-first mobile phone detection cameras used across the state.

Between 2018 and 2022, more than 140 lives were lost on NSW roads in fatal crashes where people were not wearing a seatbelt.

The expansion of mobile phone detection cameras to also apply to seatbelt offences reinforces the NSW Government’s unwavering commitment to enforcing the 50-year-old seatbelt law which has improved road safety and reduced fatalities on NSW roads.

It will take around six months for the existing suite of mobile phone detection cameras to be prepared to enforce seatbelt laws.

During this period, an extensive education campaign will be delivered to inform the community about the upcoming change.

The NSW Government is urging motorists to use this time to prepare after the legislation passed Parliament without a warning period for motorists once cameras are switched on for seatbelt detection.

Every dollar raised by seatbelt cameras will go back into road safety, mirroring the current practice with all fine revenue from speed, red light, and average speed cameras.

Minister for Roads John Graham said:

“It’s simple: seatbelts save lives. Wearing a seatbelt doubles a person’s chance of survival in a car crash.

“The vast majority of motorists buckle up every time, but despite five decades of enforcement and public awareness campaigns, more than 10,000 people a year are still fined by the NSW Police for not wearing a seatbelt.

“The passing of this law to activate seatbelt enforcement by the mobile phone detection cameras is a significant step towards reducing needless road trauma in NSW.

“We’ll be letting motorists know about these changes over the next six months but due to changes as the legislation passed Parliament there will not be a warning period for drivers once the scheme gets underway.

“I urge all drivers and passengers to buckle up properly each time they are in a vehicle. It’s a simple action and it just may save your life.”

Minister for Regional Roads and Transport Jenny Aitchison said:

"Adding the ability to detect seatbelt offences into the existing mobile phone detection cameras will save lives.

“More than 84 per cent of fatalities and two-thirds of serious injuries where people are not wearing seatbelts occur on country roads.

“As we approach the Christmas break, I urge everyone to prioritise safety. Don’t speed, don’t drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, don’t drive tired, don’t use your mobile phone when driving, and always wear a seatbelt.

“Before you hit the road, take a moment to ensure that everyone in the car has buckled up. It's a small action that can make a big difference in preventing injuries and saving lives.

“Road safety is a shared responsibility, and together, we can ensure everyone arrives safely.”