When driving with children in a hire car in Queensland the rules can be very strict so that your child is protected while driving. Therefore it is important to be aware of where your child should sit, whether they need a booster seat or baby seat and what you should be aware of to keep your children safe.
Front Or Rear Seat?
Age and situation determine where your child should sit in the hire car. As a rule the front seat should be avoided if possible as the airbags in the vehicle are designed for adults in a crash, not children, and therefore can cause your child more injury than if they were in the back seat.
In Queensland, the law dictates that a child under 7 years should sit in the back seat unless the vehicle (such as a ute) does not have back seats or all other positions are taken by children of a lesser age. A child may only legally ride in the front seat if they are over 7 years old.
Does Your Child Need A Booster Or Baby Seat?
A booster or baby seat should be used for all children under 7 years old. Upgrading from baby seats to booster seats to car seats is not determined by age but by growth. This helps to ensure that children are comfortable and safe while driving.
A child cannot go to the next baby or booster seat stage until they have outgrown their current restraint. A restraint that has been outgrown should also not be used any longer as this could put the child at unnecessary risk. If you have been in an accident the child restraints should be replaced even if there seems to be no damage. This may be covered by your car insurance.
Leaving Your Child In The Car
In Queensland, it is extremely important to not leave your child in the hire car without supervision for more than a few minutes, especially in Summer. The heat in a vehicle can be almost double the temperature outside in the Australian heat so it is important to keep an eye on your children at all times.
Queensland law states that you are not allowed to leave your child unsupervised in a car for an extended period of time. This can lead to major fines and even time in jail. If you are unsure how long you are going to be away from your hire car take your child with you.