Existing mobile phone detection cameras in NSW will now begin monitoring seatbelt compliance.
Legislative changes will be introduced to NSW Parliament this week ahead of a public awareness campaign and a nine-month period in which drivers will receive a warning letter rather than fine. It is expected that fines from cameras will be issued in the first quarter of 2025.
In the five years to 2022, 142 lives were lost on NSW roads in fatal crashes in which victims were travelling in a vehicle but not wearing a seatbelt.
According to the NSW Government, more than 10,000 people a year are still fined for not wearing a seatbelt.
Independent modelling provided to the NSW Government suggests camera-based enforcement could save between 17 and 26 lives over five years and reduce serious, life-changing injuries by up to 62.
“It has been a legal requirement to wear a seatbelt in NSW for more than 50 years, yet sadly we continue to see lives lost each and every year in crashes in which someone did not wear a seatbelt and paid the ultimate price,” said Minister for Roads John Graham.
“We know our mobile phone detection cameras, which were introduced by the former government in 2020, have been effective in changing that dangerous behaviour over time, and we expect the same result as we expand their use to seatbelt enforcement.
“There will be a warning period before fines are issued to drivers to give motorists the chance to change their behaviour and that is a sensible way to proceed.”