Seatbelt cameras go live in NSW

Mobile phone detection cameras are enforcing motorists and their passengers to buckle up as of Monday, July 1, with fines in place for seatbelt offences.

After months of testing, existing mobile and stationary cameras positioned across the NSW road network are ready to snap drivers and passengers, with no grace period of warning letters.

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Not wearing a seatbelt has been shown to double the risk of death if involved in a crash, with data showing 150 people died while not wearing a seatbelt from 2019 to 2023.

Minister for roads John Graham says while 6.9 million drivers in NSW wouldn’t dream of not wearing a seatbelt, there are still many who risk it.

“It is horrifying to think that 15 per cent of all deaths on the road in NSW are due to someone not buckling up,” he says.

“Seatbelt cameras will help us get the message through to these drivers.

“World-first mobile phone detection cameras have had great success in changing that behaviour and we expect seatbelt cameras to do the same.”

Fines of up to $410 and at least three demerit points will be issued to the driver or their passengers if they are caught not wearing their seatbelt or wearing it correctly.

Money raised by the seatbelt cameras will go back into road safety.

Minister for regional roads Jenny Aitchison says the seatbelt law has been in place for more than 50 years, but lives are still being lost as people aren’t buckling up.

“These cameras will not just be in the city, from the 1 July they will be active regionally as well – helping to enforce the rules and keep regional drivers safer,” she says.

“We know that although country residents make up only one-third of the NSW population, two thirds of all fatalities happen on country roads, which is why wearing a seatbelt correctly is a simple but incredibly important step those driving regionally should be taking.”

Seatbelt enforcement by cameras follows a string of new road safety measures launched by the NSW government including removing a loophole to force all motorists driving on a foreign licence to convert to a NSW license within six months and hosting a Road Safety Forum of International and local experts.

Doubling roadside enforcement sites for mobile speed cameras, with the addition of 2700 new locations for a camera to be deployed, as well as the demerit return trial that rewarded more than 1.2 million drivers for maintaining a spotless driving record during the initial 12-month period will also be in place.

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