Cameras to enforce seatbelt law across NSW from July 1

The NSW Government is cracking down on drivers who fail to ensure that they or their passengers are wearing seat belts properly. Mobile detection of this offence starts from July 1 and carries heavy penalties.

WEARING a seatbelt will be enforced by existing mobile phone detection cameras from July 1 as the NSW Labor Government bolsters efforts to counter the rising number of road fatalities across the state.

The simple act of correctly wearing a seatbelt while in a moving vehicle has been a legal requirement in NSW for more than 50 years, but data shows 150 people died while not wearing one in the five years between 2019 and 2023.

On average, 15 per cent of deaths on NSW roads every year still involve seatbelt non-usage, with 36 people tragically lost last year.

The enhancement of the state’s world-first mobile phone detection camera network will allow for a July 1 start date to the cameras also enforcing the seatbelt laws for the first time, the NSW Government confirms today.

Unlike when other new enforcement technologies have come into effect, there will be no grace period of warning letters after the NSW Parliament voted against starting seatbelt detection cameras in warning mode when enabling legislation was passed last year.

Photos released from testing of the cameras show a small but persistent percentage of drivers and some passengers continue to flout the law and wear their seatbelt incorrectly, including with the sash below the arm.

Every dollar raised by seatbelt cameras will go back into road safety.

Quotes attributable to State Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin:

“The key here is personal, family and community safety. This is the best position from which to start.

“Our government wants to keep us safe. Our government has a duty to keep us safe. And at times that calls for some tough love.

“If drivers are failing in your obligation to keep yourself, your passengers and your fellow citizens, we shall slug you hard.

“I cannot believe that in 2024 some people are driving without putting their seatbelts on. They are putting themselves and everyone they come into contact with at risk.

“The message is clear; belt up, buckle up or pay the price.”

As of midnight Thursday 2 May 2024, 124 lives have been lost on NSW roads, which is 16 more than the same time last in 2023.

The NSW Labor Government has introduced a number of measures to counter the rising number of road fatalities, including:

  • The demerit point trial to encourage motorists who maintain a spotless record over 12 months to have a demerit point removed from their record
  • Hosting the state’s first Road Safety Forum of international and local experts
  • Last month we signed the National Road Safety Data Sharing Agreement to help support analysis of driver behaviour, and help the various state and federal governments worktogether to understand where the funding needs to go
  • Removing a loophole to force all motorists driving on a foreign licence to convert to a NSW licence within six months
  • Doubling roadside enforcement sites used for mobile speed cameras, with the addition of 2700 new locations where a camera can be deployed. Enforcement hours will remain the same.

Today marks the start of National Road Safety Week, an annual initiative of the Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH) Group, which aims to highlight the impact of road trauma and ways to reduce it.

The theme for 2024 is All road safety is local – Drive So Others Survive.

For more information on National Road Safety Week visit:

A file photo of NSW Minister for Roads John Graham MLC, NSW Premier Chris Minns MP and State Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin MP.