Wearing a seatbelt becomes compulsory for NSW taxi drivers from today.
The change ends an exemption that has allowed taxi drivers to operate their vehicles without buckling up since seatbelts became compulsory in NSW in 1971.
Taxi drivers have historically not been compelled to wear seatbelts because it was thought they could be used in an attack against them - as a strangulation tool, for instance.
Wollongong taxi driver Ray Agostini said he had been buckling up for the past months in preparation.
"It can be a little inconvenient at times because we have to stop to exchange money a lot but that's nothing really, compared to the risks of not wearing a seatbelt," he said.
"I haven't talked to too many cabbies who have complained about it.
"It's surprising that it [the exemption] has gone on for this long."
Mr Agostini said he knew of no cases where drivers had been attacked with seatbelts but several where unrestrained drivers had been injured in an accident, including himself.
Mr Agostini was involved in an accident in mid-2011.
He hit his head on the rear vision mirror and bled and believes the injury would not have occurred if he had been properly restrained.
A spokesperson for Transport for NSW said the new laws would enhance safety for taxi drivers as well as their front seat passengers in the case of a side impact, where an unrestrained driver could be thrown across the vehicle.
"Less than 2 per cent of all NSW motorists injured in a crash are not wearing a seatbelt but among taxi drivers, the figure is 40 per cent," the spokesperson said.
Transport for NSW employees are due this week to visit taxi hotspots in the Sydney CBD, at Sydney airport, Wollongong, Newcastle and Western Sydney to discuss the change and make sure all drivers are aware of their new responsibilities.