Child safety

Find out what your responsibilities are as a driver in Lower Hutt

Your responsibility as a driver

If you're the driver, you're responsible for making sure passengers under the age of 15 are using an approved car seat or seat belt.

  • Children under seven must be in an approved car seat.
  • Children aged seven must use an approved car seat if one is available (ie. Uber). If a car seat isn't available, the child must use a seat belt.
  • Children aged between eight and 14 must wear a seat belt.
  • The seat belt must be worn correctly and kept fastened while the vehicle is moving.
  • Passengers 15 years and over are responsible for making sure that they wear their own seat belts correctly and that they keep them fastened while the vehicle is moving.

Bus drivers in vehicles with passenger safety belts are not responsible for ensuring passengers wear them except passengers under the age of 15 sitting in a front seat alongside the driver.

How to wear a seat belt

Most seat belt stretch automatically to the correct length when you fasten them and lock only if the vehicle stops suddenly.

If your vehicle has a non-retractable safety belt, you will need to adjust its length before you fasten it. There should be just enough room to slide the palm of your hand between the belt and your chest.

Note: Never put an adult and a child together in the same seat belt.

Special exceptions

You don’t have to wear a seat belt if you:

  • hold a current doctor’s certificate that says you don’t have to wear a safety belt for medical reasons
  • are driving and you’re unable to reach the controls (for example, brake, signals, dip switch) with a safety belt on
  • are a taxi driver plying for hire (your passengers, however, must wear safety belts)
  • are a driver or passenger who is getting in and out of the vehicle often to read meters, deliver goods, etc. In these situations you must not travel faster than 50km/h
  • are reversing and it is difficult to see while wearing a safety belt.

For more information