It became law for taxi drivers in NSW to always wear a seatbelt from 14 January 2013.
Taxi drivers are over-represented in statistics of road users injured and killed as a result of not wearing a seat belt. Between 2000 and 2010 over 40% of taxi drivers injured in a crash were not wearing a seat belt, compared to less than 2% of all other injured drivers during the same period.
It is hoped the change in law has meant that one less taxi driver a week is injured while working.
The same 11-year period saw four of the seven taxi drivers (57%) killed behind the wheel not wearing a seatbelt. Wearing a seatbelt doubles your chance of survival and reduces your risk of injury in a road crash. The penalty for not wearing a seatbelt is a $298 fine and three demerit points. Double demerits apply for seatbelt offences in double demerit enforcement periods such as public holidays over Christmas and New Year. It should also be remembered that taxi drivers are responsible for passengers under 16 years old to be properly restrained in a seatbelt or an approved child restraint. A baby under 12 months must be restrained in an approved child restraint.
Passengers aged 16 years and older travelling in a taxi who do not use an available seatbelt will be fined.
"Recently, QLD cabbie Robin Forrest was fined $330 plus court costs after trying to fight a fine for not wearing a seatbelt. The Court rejected his claims that his safety and civil liberties were compromised when wearing a belt so he chose not to do so. Whilst seatbelt wearing is not compulsory FOR CABBIES in QLD, Robin did not have a passenger in the car at the time so should have been wearing a belt."