Keeping our Smallest Citizens Safe with New Fine Diversion Pathways


Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death in children.

Fines exist to encourage safe behaviours, but for people in hardship fines can compound their already difficult life circumstances.

Revenue NSW and Future Friendly co-designed a car-restraint fine diversion that shifts focus from financial penalty to fixing the safety issue.

  • MORE
  • Child car restraint fines exist to ensure the safety of children on our roads — yet every year, thousands of these fines are issued. These fines work for many to encourage the right behaviour. For people in hardship however, their situation is often made worse by a fine and safety issue they don’t have the means to address. Our challenge was to design a scalable and accessible pathway to help people fix the safety issue without compounding hardship. A critical part was ensuring availability for those that need it, without having to identify themselves as in hardship.

  • Over 10 weeks we co-designed, prototyped and validated a new pathway that supported customers to get their child car restraint correctly fitted — in a way that avoids compounding inequality and ensures child safety. Through the service, customers are issued a diversion option to have the restraint correctly fitted and shown how to do this themselves. Once completed, their fine is cautioned and they no longer need to pay. It was designed to support those in a diverse range of hardship circumstances, such as financial, health, living situation or language barriers.

  • To address the issue of when children fall through the cracks of the road safety system, the new diversion pathway is designed to facilitate behaviour change in parents and custodians — keeping our smallest citizens safe. This means: Safer citizens. Creates confidence that the safety issue is resolved through verified actions. Reduced cycle of disadvantage. Provides appropriate pathways for those experiencing hardship. Increased trust in Government services. Shifts the focus to supporting customers, rather than leaving them in a position only to re-offend. More efficient fine system. This new pathway will reduce fine review requests and follow up efforts.

  • Builds on a successful PoC. The design of this diversion was based on the learnings from a successful Proof of Concept delivered in partnership with NSW Police. Sets a nation-leading example. This pathway sets the example for alternative fine pathways, as no other state offers diversion programs for this fine type. Tested with those in hardship. We tested across NSW with customers experiencing a diverse range of circumstances, including financial hardship, language barriers, limited digital access, mental or physical health considerations, or having experienced homelessness. Scalable to other fine types. Critically, the service was designed to be scalable to other fines. We developed a guide to identifying other diversions that support behaviour change and help customers experiencing hardship. Champions design process. “This work helped us to showcase how we could rapidly design and unlock funding for a compassionate and considered service that would improve safety and cost of living outcomes for citizens of NSW in a highly sensitive area." — Sharon Bicknell, Revenue NSW Connects Government agencies. Designed to be delivered in collaboration with Revenue NSW’s partner agencies and issuing authorities, to ensure applicability across multiple fines.