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Australian standards

Watch Professor Lynne Bilston, chair of CS-085, discuss the standards relating to transporting children with disabilities and medical conditions.

Standards play an important role in keeping our community safe. There are a few key standards relating to transporting children with disabilities and medical conditions that you need to know about.

3 pieces of red paper, overlapping representing the Australian standards

Standards Australia, a non-government not for profit organisation, is responsible for facilitating the development of Australian standards. They do this via technical committees from across government, business, industry, trade, academia, community and consumers.

The committees develop (and review) standards that set out specifications, procedures, and guidelines for products, services, and systems to ensure they are safe, consistent, and reliable. Standards are voluntary, however as they are regarded as industry best practice many are mandated by law.

Members of the public can contribute to standards by participating in the public comment and review process, which applies to all new and revised standards.

Standards for child restraints

The technical committee for child restraints is CS-085 Child restraints for use in motor vehicles. Professor Lynne Bilston, who features in the video, is the Chair of this committee. This committee is responsible for a number of standards, including:

AS/NZS 1754 Child restraint systems for use in motor vehicles AS/NZS 4370 Restraint of children with disabilities, or medical conditions, in motor vehicles AS 8005 Accessories for child restraints for use in motor vehicles
Design, construction and performance requirements Guidelines for assessing and prescribing restraint options Design, construction and performance requirements and test methods for accessories and add-on devices used with child restraints
Current version 2013 Current version 2013 Current version 2020
Under review Approved for review in late 2022 Recently reviewed

A new standard – AS 5384

A new standard is being developed called AS 5384: Accessories for Seat Belts used in Motor Vehicles.

This standard will consider harnesses and vests amongst other accessories used with seatbelts. Currently there is no national or international standard for harnesses and vests, which are commonly used by children (and older occupants) in motor vehicles. We’ll explore harnesses and vests in step 2.9.

Hudson in child restraint

Hudson is seated in a rearward facing Australian standards car seat

Supply and use

Australia manages the supply and use of Australian standard car seats by mandating the key standard (AS/NZS 1754) through:

  • a consumer protection notice, which only allows suppliers to sell child restraint systems that comply with AS/NZS 1754
  • road laws in each state and territory, which define approved child restraints that children are legally able to use when travelling in a motor vehicle.

However, these requirements do not apply to special purpose car seats, which you will learn more about in Step 2.5.

Your Task

task list and pen

Watch the video of Professor Lynne Bilston, chair of CS-085, talking about her motivation for improving standards and the upcoming reviews. Reflect on the importance of standards and post your thoughts in the comments below.

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Transporting Children with Disabilities and Medical Conditions

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