On 1 August 2019, the road rules were amended in the Northern Territory. To find out more, go to the 2019 NT road rule changes campaign page.

While seatbelt wearing rates in Australia are among the highest in the world, over the past ten years approximately a third of fatalities and around 10% of serious injuries in the Territory involved people who were not wearing a seatbelt.

Seatbelts and child restraints do not prevent crashes but they increase the chance of surviving a crash by up to 50%. A correctly fitted and used child car restraint that is appropriate for the child’s age and size, can significantly reduce the risk of serious injury or death.

In the event of a crash seatbelts:

  • prevent ejection from vehicle
  • decrease the time it takes for an occupant to come to a stop
  • spread the impact force over a greater area of the body
  • minimise contact with the interior of the vehicle.

In 2016, 13 of the 35 fatalities involving drivers or passengers on Territory roads, involved people not wearing a seatbelt. The simple task of buckling up may have saved half of these lives.

Groups more likely to not wear a seatbelt include:

  • intoxicated drivers and passengers
  • young people aged 15-24 years
  • people living in rural and remote areas
  • children aged 0-14 if the driver is also not wearing a seatbelt.

Fatalities attributed to not wearing seatbelts mostly occur on roads with higher speed limits in rural and remote areas.

Current initiatives

  • targeted police enforcement campaigns
  • school and community education programs
  • MACC urban and rural/remote seatbelt community awareness campaigns
  • MACC partnership with Kidsafe to build capability in remote areas to fit child restraints
  • MACC partnership with the Michael Long Leadership and Learning Centre Program focussing on seatbelt education for Aboriginal youth
  • working with community and health organisations to promote the use of child restraints
  • MACC child restraint pilot program in Borroloola, to educate and increase use of child restraints
  • support for regional and remote passenger transport services, to provide an alternative to travelling in overcrowded vehicles.

What you can do

  • always wear a seatbelt and make sure all children are in a correctly fitted child restraint
  • if you are driving, make sure everyone in your vehicle is wearing a seatbelt.

Relevant Towards Zero Road Safety Action Plan 2018-2022 actions

 ActionsYearLeadSupport Safe System
3.1 Continue to facilitate and expand Aboriginal child restraint programs which provide access for the fitment of child restraints. 2-5 MACC/ DIPL DOE/ DOH/ POLICE Safe road use


Related links